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From Berin Loritsch <>
Subject Re: [RT] Updating our marketing strategy
Date Thu, 24 Jul 2003 13:02:14 GMT
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> I'm on the plane back to Italy. My iTunes plays Celia Cruz's "el 
> carnival de la vida" in honor of her recent death. And I'm thinking that 
> the time has arrived for this RT to land.
> In really short term: Cocoon is mismarketed.
> I think many realize this.
> What many don't necessarely realize is that this has been kept so on 
> purpose. At least by me.


> So, out strategy should be to "sneak cocoon behind the enemy lines", 
> basically market it as some innocent thing that helps without hurting 
> but without being pretentious about its capabilities.

It worked for Linux...  And I think it is happening now anyways.  I know
I got it into my last company--but my current company does not have a need
for web based stuff (or if they do they us M$ technologies for it--grmbl).

We have the function down.  We can make things work quite nicely.  Now,
the other issue is not making things work, but education.  The Linux
Documentation Project (LDP) was started so that all the How-Tos and and
Guides would lower the barrier of entry.  As a result, you can easily go
to the one-stop-shop and find out almost anything you need to know.

The major issue with sneaking things behind enemy lines is ensuring the
project can survive beyond the person who snuck it in.  Right now, the
learning curve is just too high, because even though Cocoon encourages
SoC most people don't know how to deal with that.  Any time you have a
CTO that forces you to name variables a certain way (micromanagers in
small companies), they are going to want to know every facet of Cocoon.

I have constantly tried to get folks to work on one thing at a time.
I tell them "I set it up so that all you have to do is create the source
files".  Out of the tens of people I have coached, only one really "got it"
before they had to work on something else or leave the company.

Our Cocoon Documentation Project (CDP) should have a bunch of focussed
How Tos to lower the barrier of entry.  Don't focus on the big honkin'
guide--it will have to be changed and edited far too much anyway.

> Once cocoon enters a working environment, people wills start 
> understanding the value of SoC and SoC-enforcing architectures and will 
> be infected by this meme, resulting in the use of cocoon in more and 
> more locations.

Remember, it is included in JBuilder, which is no small feat.  As I recall,
I don't remember Struts or Turbine being included....  THat is a definite
start and part of the "marketing" package.

> I've seen this happening several times: cocoon entered by the back door 
> and made it all the way to the front door and when people marketed it, 
> they found out they were already using it!

:) I love that story.  Same thing for what Cocoon is based on: Avalon.
While I have found you can live quite comfortably without EJBs when we
use Avalon components, the Avalon team never markets the framework as
a competitor to EJBs.  Why?  Same reason Cocoon doesn't market itself
as a competitor to other de facto standard systems.

> Cocoon is glue and duct tape for your web needs.
> Sounds harmless, doesn't it? suppose you want to use cocoon in some of 
> your web stuff because you like the features and the how it works...

It's hard to nail down something as large as Cocoon in one line.


> The two scenarios reflect the different approaches we can take.
> I propose to choose the humble one.

I think that having a "Testimonials" section will also help.  Real comments
from real users.  How did it save time?  How did it make things easier to
maintain?  When did it pay off?

> At that point, we would be *inside* and cocoon will do the marketing 
> itself by perpetuating its viral memes to the technical guys who will 
> get more and more used to it and will start using it for more and more 
> stuff.
> At that point, we won't even have to go around saying "we are better 
> than struts"... we just say we are different. people will choose what 
> they like the best and what fits their needs the most.
> What do you think?

Isn't that what we are doing anyway?


"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
  deserve neither liberty nor safety."
                 - Benjamin Franklin

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