I really wanted a Cinnabon today, but I had no cash. And seeing as to how Cinnabon seemed like one of those places that wouldn't take a credit card for a $2.50 purchase, I also bought one of those boxes of minnbaons ($12.99) to take home with me.

Holy crap, this was a bad idea (for my waistline).

. . .

Following up from yesterday's post, today was a much better day; July has/will be a very busy month for MindTouch. I find that working at a startup is mostly about throwing up as many balls in the air as possible, and hoping you don't drop too many (or maybe that's just MindTouch, hah!). A lot of stuff has been falling into place lately with all our projects, which is coming as a huge relief to me (why does someone who has such minimal impact on said projects care so much anyways? clown.gif). 

. . .

Thought of the day: I used to think technology companies should have their engineers build cool shit, and then just release it. But man, that's so not the case. Lately, I've been obsessing over the message that MindTouch sends out. And I can understand why product releases would be delayed, or projects scrapped, for the sake of the message. For example, we've finally figured out the right message for our product at work, and everything we do has to build around that message. If it doesn't, it's relatively pointless. I had written up a meandering blog post about the evolution of the product for the upcoming releases, but ended up scrapping it cause it just didn't fit the message.

I have a small worry that we're pushing out too many things at once right now ... thus not giving people a chance to properly digest all the little cool things we do. Unfortunately, given our current engineering trajectory and the huge deal around OSCON, we're currently in a ship that's nearly impossible to right ;) (And honestly, you could really have worse problems than having too much stuff to announce).

I used to be blind to everything besides the product, but now I'm starting to see how all the little pieces play together: how engineering ultimately dictates the product's direction; how PR pulls together external events like conferences and links them with internal milestones to drive awareness; and how sales (I've been granted an account to our internal sales wiki and I've been reading through how sales work) ultimately plays up the strengths of the former two and monetizes.

And I'm starting to understand how the open-source model fits in to this whole equation. Open-source software, technical merits aside (of which there are many) is a great marketing and lead generation tool - OSS generates more adoption, which in turn raises the number of people who are acquainted with your software. If these people supply contact information, you have a fantastic spigot of leads. And not only that, but if you build an open-source component like Deki which is a fantastic development platform, you really do build up a base of loyal users who understand the product.

And these community members, who know the product, serve as a huge talent pool for hiring. Ramp-up time for engineering is always a difficult task ... to have somebody who knows the product who can come in on day one and kick ass is always a huge boon (plus it means we don't need to pay for recruiters).

Anyways, this post ended up being way longer than I intended - I just really wanted to write about my Cinnabons.

Posted by roy on July 15, 2008 at 09:15 PM in Ramblings, MindTouch | Add a comment

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