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From Robert Samuel Newson <>
Subject Re: Marketing strategy for 3.0
Date Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:58:14 GMT

While we should think about how we get our message out there, about what CouchDB is, what
it can do, and even that it exists, it is not our principal focus, and marketing concerns
certainly do not (and will not) dictate the project's future. If what we've built, and continue
to improve on, is of no interest to anyone, then the project will ultimately die.

I don't want to entirely derail you here but I do ask that you get specific enough that folks
can vote on your proposals. The direction the CouchDB project takes, like all Apache projects,
is dictated by those doing the work.

Protip: We don't think about "customers", we think about "users". Yes, there is at least one
prominent commercial vendor deeply involved in the CouchDB project, but CouchDB itself is
not a commercial venture.


> On 28 Sep 2016, at 06:46, Johs Ensby <> wrote:
> Hi,
> I appologise for a long intro about myself, feel free to skip it.
> Also feel free to skip to the bottom of this long mail to the suggestions.
> I have worked with B2B marketing since 1983 when computer graphics sidetracked me from
architecture and design that was my original education from <>.
> Doing over 2000 corporate presentations and board room presentations I got a lot of experience
with corporate decision making.
> I took an MBA at <> before starting with web
development in 1995, but learned close to nothing about B2B marketing there. I got a good
update from this guy later, though
> That was I decided to started using CouchDB after visiting the Cloudant team when they
were a startup. I thought CouchDB was fantastic having worked with .asp and mySQL.
> All my carreer, I have worked with tech people at the client side. Marketing-wise they
to the same mistakes over and over again. I don't say this out of disrespect, I respect tech
developers, including software devlopers very much. It just doesn't change the fact that they
usually don't know much about marketing.
> The #1 misconception about tech marketing is:
> Marketing = promotion ("I have made this great thing, not you marketing people push it
into the market for me")
> Marketing is about doing it the other way around. When marketing is introduced in text
books it is often described as the third step in the development of mass production
> The Production concept was about mass production trying to keep up with demand
> The Sales concept was about creating demand for what already was being produced
> The Marketing concept starts with customer needs and targets value creation for a specific
customer segment. Communications theory and mass media replaced the door-to-door salesmen
by putting ideas about companies and products into the head of people instead of coldcalling
and hardselling features.
> Consumer marketing left #1 ad 2 for the 3rd method in the 60's, while most B2B enterprises
are still stuck on 2.
> How could the CouchDB project benefit from applying the marketing concept?
> The potential is great, the adoption rate not so great. Rather than letting the project
be 100% developer driven, I think it would be very beneficial to mix in some marketing and
introduce a customer perspective.
> A book about marketing that everyone in the tech industry love is from 1991, "Crossing
the chasm" by Geoffrey Moore.
> It is a based on ideas that originally came in a book from 1962, "Diffusion of innovations"
by Evertt M. Rogers.
> The main idea is that the hard thing is to get innovations into the main market -  satisfy
risk-adverse decision makers.
> When it comes to strategy, we can learn one thing from Michael Porter. The single idea
that Porter builds on is that the one with a strategy always wins over the one without a strategy.
You have to have to sacrifice something.
> Why is this so? Because the guy that tries to compete with everyone will have competitors
that become better by focusing more narrowly (on cost, value or a customized solution). It
is not like you loose to one competitor, you loose to several at the same time, because each
of them had a different strategy and they became better than you and shared the market between
themselves. They all positioned themselved to be a winner in a given market segment and the
one that did not quite know what segment to go for lost in all segments, eventually.
> My suggestion is to start with defining the market and competition:
> Define the market for CouchDB 3.0 (by target group and need served) and identify the
2 competitors in that market segment that have the strongest brands. 
> An illustration:
> Lets imagine that we are on the Apple eCar team and want to position a new highend sportscar
that establishes the brand before launching the cheaper models. We identified Porsche and
Tesla as the strongest brands in our segment. By identifying the two strongest brands in our
market segment we can move on to the challenge of differentiating ourselves towards these
2 brands and secure a market share. It is a triangualtion technique that uses strong brands
already positioned in the heads of our target group to position ourselves (again, in the heads
of the right people, not e.g. on a feature comparison table).
> johs

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