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Markepoetry Part 5: Once the genie is out of the bottle

It’s been a while since I wrote a piece of markepoetry, but this poem suddenly appeared in my head this morning. This one isn’t traditional old skool markepoetry (which relies on real words of marketing people for its strength), but it does seem strangely appropriate to the marketing world for me.

Once the genie is out of the bottle,

Some people devise strategies to get him back in,

Some people angrily search for the idiot who rubbed the bottle,

Some people cry and remember what life was like before he got out.

Some people make wishes.

Markepoetry is the language of marketing, made beautiful.

How to successfully compete with open source software

Found an interesting post via a Twitter friend today with ideas on how proprietary software companies can compete with open source software. The guy who wrote it isn’t an open source hater, in fact he says he uses plenty of open source software for his own websites. His post also covers open source applications catering to consumers rather than businesses, so it’s not exactly Red Hat that he’s talking about here, but I still thought the ideas were worth taking to heart.

The first three ways he says you can successfully compete with open source software are, in this order 1) marketing 2) design 3) user experience. His reasoning? From the post:

OSS concentrates on the software, not the problems the software can solve: Take a look at an OSS site, any OSS site.  You’ll see a whole lot of talking about the software, the implementation of the software, the source code for the software, how you can contribute to the software, etc.  You’ll almost never see anything about the problem domain — the assumption is that, if you’ve stumbled upon the site, you already know you have a software problem.

I think he is on to something here. We open source software people do tend to sometimes fall in love with our software and how it is made and works, rather than falling in love with our customers and how we can understand and solve their problems. It is easy to agree with this in theory I’ve found, but in reality, it is a lot harder to stay focused on the customer’s needs when there is all this cool software to be made:)

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