Max's journey into open source began around 2016 when he created Styled Components, a popular open-source library. Tracy and Max reminisced about their initial meeting during Max's early days in open source, emphasizing the timeline of Max's contributions and conference appearances.
Max shed light on the founding of Stellate, a company specializing in GraphQL caching. He explained that Stellate was born out of the scaling challenges faced at his previous company, Spectrum. Their heavy use of GraphQL combined with the limitations of the RethinkDB database led to frequent crashes. To address this, Max came up with the idea of putting a cache in front of their GraphQL API, which ultimately led to the creation of Stellate.
Tracy touched on Stellate's current focus, and Max provided insights into their role in GraphQL caching, helping companies optimize their GraphQL APIs. Max acknowledged that while GraphQL adoption may have slowed down in some areas, it has gained substantial traction in large enterprises, solving organizational challenges at scale.
Max shared his approach of defaulting to open source, explaining how he maximizes "shots on goal" by creating numerous open-source projects. He also discussed his journey, from leaving university to becoming an open-source contributor and co-founder of Spectrum, highlighting the role of genuine interest in people and how it led to his involvement with Spectrum.
The episode offered valuable insights into Max's career, the challenges of being a founder, and the importance of company culture.