Re: [Evangelism] Strategy focus decisions - Plone-the-product vs. Plone-the-platform – Discovering a blog entry by Paul Everitt from 2008

Dylan Jay djay at
Mon Nov 30 21:18:33 UTC 2009

Dylan Jay
Technical solution manager
PretaWeb 99552830

On 01/12/2009, at 5:57 AM, "Stroß-Radschinski Armin C." <developer at acsr.d 
e> wrote:

> Today i googled an old statement of Paul Everitt on marketing focus:
> Plone-the-product vs. Plone-the-platform, Joel-on-software edition
> Paul wrote:
> ...
> "strategy" means high-level kinds of questions like:
> - What should Plone do well (vs. not worry about doing well)
> - Who is it for (vs. not necessarily for)
> - What makes it unique (vs. what things are commodity)
> - Who are your natural competitors
> The whole blog entry is worth a look in the current discussions
> There he quotes a very important question made up by Joel Spolsky:
> "It's really, really important to figure out if your product is a  
> platform or not, because platforms need to be marketed in a very  
> different way to be successful. That's because a platform needs to  
> appeal to developers first and foremost, not end users.
> ...
> "
> from
> When talking about marketing activities we should always make clear  
> what audience we are adressing and WHY.
> Beneath the main activities we always need to promote "Plone-the- 
> platform" as well, to encourage young professional developers to  
> dive into Python development as a cool best-practise piece of  
> software and "Grow up our developers".

These are awesome points. I think unique and challenging reality is  
that plone is both product and a platform but we've been trying market  
both through the same channels which is why the message has sometimes  
been confusing. Eg we say plone is easy to install but in reality only  
in drvrloment mode not production mode so that is really a platfom  
message not a product message.
Drupal delivers drupal the product message via it's dot com site and  
it's platform message via it's dot org site.

I am also thinking we are better off concentrating on selling plone as  
a platform. Not just because we need more develepers and integrators  
to gain greater momentum but recently I've been discovering plone  
doest sell well as a product.
If someone comes to us (as PretaWeb) and says
A) we need a website that can blah blah then plone is easy to sell.
If a customer comes to us and says
B) we're considering to purchase plone as a cms or intranet it's a  
really hard sell.
This is even though we sell training and support and that both  
solutions would need to be equally customized. Why?
People picking products tend to pick product companies. Makes them  
more comfortable. They feel like they can sue them and that will act  
more to help them to protect the reputation of the product etc. Plone  
has no product company.
I guess this is why open source works better for platforms than  

> Arminp
> --
> Armin Carl Stroß-Radschinski, Dipl. Designer
> acsr industrialdesign, Landgrafenstraße 32, 53842 Troisdorf, Germany
> Telefon +49 (0) 22 41 / 94 69 94, FAX +49 (0) 22 41 / 94 69 96
> eMail developer at -
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