The structure of open source project communities is discussed in relation to the organizational life cycle. In lieu of sales figures, the download counts for each project are used to identify the life cycle stage of a random sample of open source projects. A research model is proposed that attempts to measure the fit between the life cycle stage and the specific organizational characteristics of these projects (focus, division of labor, role of the leader, level of commitment, and coordination/control) as an indicator of the success of a project as measured by the satisfaction and involvement of both developers and users.