Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Microsoft as a Platform (Marketing to the Geek vs CIO)

Very interesting post the other today on the Microsoft Live Mesh blog. Mike Zintel describes the upcoming release of Live Mesh, or Microsoft as a Platform.

He made some very interesting points.. I found this statement of particular interest.
" One of the typical early conversations in a new project is the target audience: consumers or enterprise? Large or small organizations? Web, Windows, Mac or mobile? What mobile targets? We rejected this early and focused us on adding value to individuals: people who may work in enterprises and belong to multiple organizations, but who also make choices as consumers, and use multiple technologies (and who are probably frustrated with the productivity barriers that exist as a side effect of the seams the industry imposes on them)."

This has been a reoccurring question we've had with our Enomalism platform, out of the 12,500 or so members of our community, the vast majority have been the early adopters. We face the a common delema of needing to cross the chasm between the %1 of the market who quickly tap into the latest trends versus the 99% who have never heard of cloud computing. The problem with the early adpoters is they also tend to be the ones who don't write the cheques, a big benefit when trying to grow a community around a freely available open source product, but difficult when trying to monetize it. I feel this is probably going to be a problem for others trying to get their "Cloud Platforms" off the ground specially folks who may not choose open source their product or are boot strapping development. Companies with large existing customer bases or large VC funds may not have the same concerns.

My question is who do you market to, the geek or the CIO?

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