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The Marketing Plan (At Last!)
- To: <xanadu>
- Subject: The Marketing Plan (At Last!)
- From: Marc Stiegler <marcs>
- Date: Thu, 10 Aug 89 12:20:37 PDT
SO WHAT DOES THE MARKETING PLAN LOOK LIKE?
Everyone can find the Xanadu marketing plan and all the sundry
attachments thereto in the folder "principia and discussion"
under Tops in my folder "current work". These are Microsoft Word
documents; if somebody doesn't have access to Word, let me know.
In my role as Keeper Of the Schedule, I am frankly terrified
of disseminating the marketing plan. It is clear that many people
want to work on the marketing plan as much as they want to work
on software. When I last suggested that making software is more
important than making marketing plans, I was practically shouted
down--I remember at least four people who couldn't speak fast
enough to voice their disagreement.
But I still maintain that software is more important than marketing,
for the following reason: marketing is much more forgiving than
software. If your marketing plan has a flaw in it, you can still
make millions of dollars; though there are some ways of marketing
so flawed that it is fatal, only a small percentage of marketing
mistakes fall into this category.
For the software which must be completed before marketing can
even begin, however, the percentage of flaws which are fatal
is quite large. Let's face it, folks: we are far more likely
to fail for lack of swiftly developed adequate software, than
for lack of adequate marketing. Early shipment, while the market
is still mostly virgin, will make up for a LOT of marketing errors!
I also fear for people's clear-headedness while reading this.
When I read the first draft of this document, I was astonished
by how strong my own irrational anger was at various passages--indeed,
I had the rather peculiar sensation of watching my anger from
another part of my mind, and knowing that my reaction was irrational
even while continuing to feel anger. This was particularly bizarre
for me considering how noncontroversial the plan really was,
even in the first draft.
The plan is even less controversial now. So one might expect
fewer moments of outrage from people reading the second draft.
On the other hand, since I am one of the "youngest" members of
the team, I have far fewer deep-seated opinions on these matters
than some. For some of us, much smaller stimulation may provoke
much greater irrationality. We are discussing religious issues
here, and I can feel it in almost every paragraph.
Perhaps I am wrong to be so afraid; perhaps no one else will
suffer from the kind of inappropriate anger I felt while reading
the first draft; perhaps everyone will read this document with
the purity of analytical thought that one needs to plan wisely.
Go ahead and prove me wrong in my prediction of religious-style
argument. Make my day! :-)
Having made my last desperate plea for clear minds and clear
priorities, let me make some introductions to the plan.
In the folder, you will find the Marketing Plan II, a series
of comment documents, and a folder that contains the first draft
of the plan. Don't bother reading the first draft at all. But
some of the comments on that first draft may be interesting to
people, because you may find more explanation of why certain
things are said in the second draft.
I might actually recommend reading the comments on the second
draft before reading the second draft itself. The comments make
an odd introduction, but they highlight areas where communication
Regardless, I recommend that, as you read the plan, you jot down
your ideas and issues in your own "comments on the plan" document.
Save that document in the plan folder. We will hold a chickenshit
debating society meeting soon (how about next Thursday at canonical
7PM?) on the marketing strategy.
I also recommend skipping the Recommendations until you've read
the rest of the document. Joel starts out with a summary/recommendations.
This is good design for presenting the document to Autodesk decision
makers, who may want to just read this piece and nothing else.
But for native Xanadians, reading the bald conclusions without
any warmup is a sure way to get lit up for the wrong reasons
(if we had this online in Xanadu, of course, we would just have
2 different inclusion lists, one for Autodesk and one for us,
with the recommendations at the top in one and at the bottom
in the other).
A particular point that may puzzle people is joel's reference
to "Xanadu's principally OEM strategy". Reading joel's description
of OEM strategies versus Third Party Developer strategy, one
notes that we have always talked like we had a Third Party Developer
strategy. But in fact, when one looks at all the plans we have
made, the underpinning actions we have planned all look like
what you'd do for the OEM strategy. So don't pay any attention
to statements about what Xanadu used to plan. We all agree that
Xanadu should be primarily using a Third Party Developer strategy;
focus on joel's recommendations and explanations of how to get
Finally, joel introduces the term "issue processing" for the
market position for our first product, but doesn't define it
very much. I suspect everyone has an intuitive sense for what
this means, mostly summed up in the idea, "Hey, marcs, I have
an ISSUE with THAT STATEMENT right there in the middle paragraph".
Issue processing is a great term for what we're going to support,
for far more reasons than discussed in the plan. We should not
mention this term anywhere outside our own little group until
we're ready to start advertising; the marketing concept "issue
processing" should be treated in the meantime as a secret as
deep as the ent algorithm.
Let us make it possible to reveal the term issue-processing as
soon as possible. Let us get the software into shrinkwrap.