[Plone-conference] Openspace: growing plone | as a brand

Dylan Jay djay at pretaweb.com
Thu Oct 23 02:52:14 UTC 2014

On 23 Oct 2014, at 12:50 am, Héctor Velarde <hector.velarde at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 21-10-2014 19:07, Armin Stroß-Radschinski wrote:
>> What if we move the target for this topic more towards "Growing Plone as a brand" and its value and a more positive experience recognition.
>> I am persistent on this...
> HV> I don't agree.
> marketing involves processes for creating, delivering and communicating value to customers, so we need to work in parallel:

Armin: I just want to emphasise "creating, delivering" above. I believe previous efforts in marketing Plone have not gone so well because Plone has a roadmap which is confused. A focused product is much easier to sell. For example, everyone should try to complete the following *single* sentence: Plone is a perfect choice for someone about to build a new site because ...[ten words or less].
Currently Plones brand would be "Plone is not the perfect choice for someone about to build a new site because it is too complex". Regardless how false that statement is, that is what our the most commonly held belief is I think.

> we need to create a roadmap based on research of what our customers are demanding (and makes sense for us) and our competitors are offering (and we don't); we also need to identify the risks we face (like keeping dependent on Zope).

+1. But in addition, what our competitors aren't offering, that would could offer and it would be hard for them, and our customers might want if it existed. Purely survey based roadmaps aren't always sensible. I agree with Chris, we are likely to need revolutionary thinking if we are to get *ahead* of the competition and that will be done with something that is more fun, more easy to learn and more productive that Plone as it is now, OR wordpress, OR drupal as well as keeping the current power and advanced features of Plone. We have some amazingly smart people. If we put our minds to the long term we can work out how to come up with a Plone that can be both easy to start with, and powerful for complex sites. These statements make about going after the WP market will mean that we somehow turn Plone into a restricted product. The reason we *could* go after the WP market is precisely because we can offer them an easy starting point with an lift that goes all the way up instead of stopping half way.

I think whats important about a new roadmap team::

- it represents the wider community. To help with that I propose direct elections but not from core dev or foundation membership, since these members are already very committed to Plone and have a different perspective that themers or users and admins. The fedora community works this way. People campaign to be on the fedora steering committee describing what their vision would be so the community votes based the vision they would like to see. 

- The team is not so big and meets regularly so it can actually digest all the ideas and come up with a strategy that makes sense both from a branding and product point of view and a technology, core developer point of view AND deals with details. Combining all those points of view into something that says "A PLIP to allow themers to easily turn all email links purple would be great because our research shows it currently takes 1 day to achieve this". Videos, usescases, motivating stories of how Plone could work, of the kind we used to get from Limi or Martin.

> we need to implement these features in an careful, orderly and pragmatic way: thinking first, step by step, with less huge disruptions because we have an installed base that we need to maintain.

+1 And the first thing the team would need to work out is the argument: do we first need to change plone to make it more attractive to end users/integrators and then fix up the underlying technology to make it easier to add features to. OR do we need to fix the underlying technology first and then add the more attractive features later. Keep core developers happy is important. Keeping demand for plone high so everyone has jobs, also important.

Also, niche or not? 
Steve: personally I don't buy the argument of niche unless it has a model of procurement builtin. The potential problem I see with intranets as a target is that intranets are mostly installed by IT teams who like MS or java and not so much open source. And they like to be "sold" something. They don't make the decision the boss does, so they have a much better job selling MS or even Atlassian to their boss than python and Plone. There is also some very stiff competition in that area such as Atlassian and Jive and even more competition when it comes to cloud based intranets. I'm not saying the intranet consortium is a bad idea, it's a fantastic idea but the core of Plone has to be making it dead easy for someone to make a website they can give to someone else to edit. Those bottom feeding WP market ARE the people that open source procurement is exactly designed to address. "I am a time poor developer, I need to build a site for myself quickly, OR for a client cheaply and in a predictable timeframe so I can make a profit AND I don't want to pay anything for the tool or consultants to make it work". Instead what we are currently doing is a model of selling that requires a lot of convincing and it just doesn't scale with an open source product. Drupal on the other had have both models working well.

> and, as you say, we need to fix our communication problems.
> we need different people on each team and we need people with different backgrounds and skills.

> best regards
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