Re: Just can't make it work?
What is it with big *tech* companies and OS software and not being able to make it all work?
Product management. And agile.
Seriously, small companies and startups are engineering driven, they by their own nature have a significant resource percentage dedicated to perfecting the core. The core is not a concept which product management understands. They understand the visible outer shell - the customer facing part.
As a result, in a bigger company, any work on core gradually takes a back seat or goes completely out of the window to be driven using an agile board from one demo of a gold plated turd to another. First and foremost - the core remains a turd. No new core will be introduced as this is not a customer facing activity. The layers of gold plating on top will grow until they pressurize the inside under their sheer weight to a point where the company will look to buy a startup to supply another core and the cycle will repeat once more.
There are means to break this cycle.
In pre-agile days tech companies in the valley used to have a set in stone core to polish ratio with the core resource fully in control by a Distinguished Engineer or a Fellow - the tech person in charge of the project. That went away with agilization. You cannot storyboard it for a customer demo. It is core - so it SHALL be replaced by agile driven and demoable polish on a turd. So one way to break it is to reintroduce some elements of waterfall and assign parts of a team on long term "sabbaticals" to work on next gen core. Rotate them, rinse, repeat.
Another option is the Bezos method - make each component of the core a product in its own right.
Both work, but even facing a bankrupcy will not make a big *tech* company look at either one of them.