GNOME is raising funds for a system administrator, and just yesterday a ruler has been added to the top of various GNOME websites to show people progress. Stormy Peters reported that on the first day almost $1,000 in donations came from individual donors, and $5,000 from a company.
Archive for the 'open source marketing' Category
Two InitMarketing Customers Win Open Source Business Award - Two Initmarketing customers won prizes. I was partially involved with Stephen Walli to write todoyu business plan, and I really enjoyed it!
Back in 2000 the GNOME project established to start the foundation to provide a structure and support to achieve project’s goals in a timely manner, to effectively integrate new citizens into the community and to publicly voice the decisions of the GNOME project.
After the ‘outing’ of the Sun Model Simon Phipps commented my post about Sun and the open source Funnel Marketing, mentioning Jonathan Schwartz’s Inside Story, a tie-in with Microsoft built in around the Java Run-time downloads.
Jonathan explains that freely distributing software opens a direct relationship with end users, and the decision to go with Microsoft was based on overall value, included an agreement with Microsoft to promote MySQL. Kudos to Jonathan to have been able to close the deal, and let’s see if Sun could retain the value of retail distribution in other ways.
Network Marketing is the movement of goods or services from the manufacturer to the ultimate consumer through a network of independent distributors. Open Source Network Marketing instead, is based on the idea that IT knowledge workers proficient in the use of open source products are a valuable marketing network.
Open Source Network Marketing could help to reduce information asymmetry, bringing more end-users to become customers and save time (and money!) buying instead commercial open source services (i.e. subscriptions and everything else fits in your funnel marketing).
Since CIOs ask OS companies to behave just like any other proprietary vendor, what almost all open source vendors are missing is an appropriate distribution channel. Proficient open source personnel is the best resource for that, and products like MySQL because of the positive network effects can rely on a huge number of experienced people around the world.
The compensation scheme has to be build in a way that preserve and enhance open source values. Users should turn into customers because it makes business sense, not because network marketing has cheated them.
Open Source Network Marketing has to be applied responsibly and ethically. The free software community has to be happy to be part of this business equation, valuing hackers’ time and experience is a must. Make them happy is the only way to foster the ecosystem required to release this potential.
Certification programs maybe a source of revenues, but also a rewarding bonus for your network of independent distributors. MySQL brand recognition is really strong, and big customers are already demanding for MySQL certifications, so the business opportunity is already out there.
Yesterday Simon focused on the third phase, making specific examples of delivering value for real users that are heading towards scale, as well as specific hardware systems for MySQL and storage appliances. As a matter of fact Sun is moving towards a more and more open source oriented business, but I believe that also the first and the second phases could be profitably turned into sources of revenues as well.
What is in your marketing funnel? by massdistraction
Open Source Funnel Marketing.
An ordinary open source marketing funnel is really wide at the top - think about the many millions of downloads. Prospects enter the funnel, sometimes deploy by themselves, sometimes they simply don’t, but only few continue down to the bottom. What happens in the middle?
MySQL Webinars might stay free, but you might consider to sell their transcriptions, maybe including manuals or other infoproducts. Community of software deployers’s outputs, like the Italian OpenOffice.org FAQ, could also be repackaged and sold to customers. Sun might well create infoproducts out of everything, the limit is the sky.
Free software and other materials help to create relationships, then you can start to sell them your prospects low-priced products and services, eventually bringing them to become repetitive customers who will buy subscriptions.
Open Source Network Marketing will soon follow.
The Sun Model was recently unveiled by Simon Phipps in a sort of open source veni vidi vici, easing adoption, fostering communities of users, focusing business opportunities on the creation of value between deploy and scale.
Rich Sands - formerly marketing guy behind the OpenJDK project - commenting Simon’s post suggested to position Sun’s offer somewhere between delivering hardware and professional services, while Savio Rodrigues invited MySQL (and Sun) to reconsider closed source. Both ideas worth some consideration, and I want to add my perspective to a subject that I have been covering few times in the past.
Rethinking Open Source Strategies by venegas
The Sun model seems similar to many other open source vendors’ business strategies, as originally argued by Savio, and it lacks to consider other opportunities than selling just add-ons to scale. Let’s see some of them.
Open source franchising, an idea that apparently Simon was thinking of more than one year ago, may sounds too expensive during economic downturn. All in all running a sort of “pilot” could be manageable, though.
Dispersed knowledge about how to use open source software packages, often available through forums, directories, newsletters and consulting firms, could be made available to customers for a fee. Probably there is a word of opportunity to create more value out there. Customers conversion is critical, true. But customers look for a “whole product solution”, and it is up to you provide them with the value they will pay for. OpenOffice migrations could be an interesting opportunity, otherwise IBM might end earning the most doing the least.
Open source ISV should look for their own “open source marketing funnel“.
Open source network marketing is another option, I’ll leave this for another post.
The Italian and the English announcements of the third major release of OpenOffice.org yesterday went out, and today the whole OpenOffice.org website is struggling to cope with the demand for the new release 3.0 of OpenOffice.org.
Here some excerpts of the English press release.
Edinburgh, UK (PRWEB) October 13, 2008 — Celebrated at a launch party in Paris today, and just in time for the eighth birthday of the project, the OpenOffice.org Community today announced the release of OpenOffice.org 3.0. The third major update of the leading productivity suite delivers significant enhancements and advanced, extensible, productivity tools for all users, including Mac users, as OpenOffice.org now runs natively on the Mac OS X platform.
OpenOffice.org 3.0 is more than a simple productivity application. With this release the basic components, which include word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, formula and database capabilities, can easily be supplemented by extensions downloaded from the OpenOffice.org extensions repository. Instead of feature bloat, OpenOffice.org 3.0 gives users in enterprises, offices, schools, as well as home users the freedom to configure their suite their way.
I like the Italian press release more, and it is not just because I am the Institutional Relationship Manager for the Italian OpenOffice.org association and a member of the Italian OOo marketing team. We stressed the importance to be a serious challenger for Microsoft in the Italian market, providing also some numbers (3.580.000 downloads so far this year, one every 7 seconds). We highlighted also that the OpenOffice.org architecture allows third parties contributions, knowing that many are not familiar with the notion of extensions yet.
What we are doing is improving the way people can build extensions so, rather than keep on increasing the size of OpenOffice, people can download additional functionality if they particularly need it.
As seen with Funambol, Sun basically retains almost full control of decision making and IP ownership. Despite within the openoffice.org community there are some tension between control and openness, now the OpenOffice.org modular architecture allows subproject creation. And third parties’ extrinsic motivations may vary.
InitMarketing.tv will publish video interviews with open source actors from around the world. Among available interviews I already enjoyed Bruce Perens speaking of the open source long tail, and I am looking forward to see what others have to say about open source marketing (Fabrizio Capobianco of the Funambol fame and Stormy Peters, now employed at the GNOME foundation, just to mention a couple of the pipelined ones).