Category Archives: Articles & content

Making the business case to open source your software

I recently researched and wrote about the Open Source movement for Daitan Group, a company that provides high-quality software development services to significantly accelerate time to market for global technology companies.

In the early days of software development — when the industry was still nascent, and coding expertise was the privilege of a few — companies that developed software protected that software closely from distribution. Code Intellectual Property (IP) was locked up as far away as possible by lawyers, and the code itself accessible only to a few. Even with those restrictions, programmers commonly shared code on an informal basis to learn from one another. Sharing code was accepted as a valuable and efficient way of moving learning forward at a time when software solutions were being developed for the first time.

But in the early 1980s, this started to change. While some may consider the entire Internet an open source software initiative in itself, it was in the 1980s that the ‘free software’ movement began to take shape — a movement whose goal was to encourage the free sharing, distribution, and studying of software. In the 1990s, the free software movement matured into what was seen as the more ‘business-friendly’ Open Source Software (OSS) movement.

Now, as we know, Open Source Software is fully mainstream.

So why would a business that has invested significant resources, time, and energy into building proprietary market-leading software, then choose to release the source code of that software into the public domain? Isn’t giving away software for ‘free’ completely counter-intuitive?

Why would companies that are focused on profits and revenue come to believe that releasing software for free is a defensible strategy? How does that company achieve ROI on something so costly to create? And how do those companies avoid having their competitors use the intellectual property embedded in that software against them in the

Read the Daitan Group White Paper to read more.

The Impact of Shadow IT in the New Collaborative Enterprise

Enterprises are vastly underestimating the extent that unauthorized applications and services are being used within their organizations.  This last month I completed a White Paper about ‘Shadow IT’ (workers using personal devices and cloud services in the enterprise) — The Impact of Shadow IT in the New Collaborative Enterprise on behalf of my client Daitan Group for whom I am developing an on-going series of white paper and blog content to support their marketing and business development initiatives. For the content, we researched three impacts:

  1. The impact of Shadow IT on Enterprise Security and Identity Management
  2. The impact of Shadow IT on Enterprise Messaging, and
  3. The impact of Shadow IT on Enterprise Collaboration

The Shadow IT trend is generally reported in a negative light, both for the pall the trend casts on how IT departments work, and for the impact it causes in terms of business security, policies and procedures. Even the name itself has an ‘underhand’ and rather menacing feel. Security issues as a result of Shadow IT are real, and they are serious. But the impacts of Shadow IT are not universally negative.

On the positive side, Shadow IT behaviors have resulted in the emergence of breakthroughs in automated and customized messaging and workflows that are enabling exciting new applications that increase employee productivity and efficiency, and foster collaboration.

Five examples of brands building local buzz

I enjoyed reading this today — five examples of interesting buzz-building by brands.

Here are the campaigns chosen.

TL;DR — a lesson to be learned

I always enjoy reading Brian Solis.

No more so than today, when Brian reminds attention is a precious commodity. We should earn it, and spend it, wisely. Content curation and a thoughtful attention to our audience’s attention span is absolutely required.

Our audiences are bombarded with so much information. As consumers of digital content, we all struggle to stay ahead of the information firehose.

A leading editor once told me over breakfast that he seriously considered writing an article and only allowing the first two paragraphs to make sense. The remainder would be nonsense. Then he’d watch if people still shared. I suspect they would. Because he believed no one read past the first two paragraphs of anything much these days.

So with that said, I’m done.

Where is your startup in the Brand Relationship Arc?

Image courtesy of

Few brands make it all the way up to the ‘forgive’ and ‘defend’ area, but all of them start at the bottom.

The biggest challenge I see startups take on is figuring out what they should be ‘known’ for.  It’s a common mistake to try to be many things to many people. Be known for something great and focus on that.  It’s too easy to get distracted by the competition, sometimes even when really that competition is adjacent, and actually could even become complementary through partnerships.

To be successful, brands need to focus on being relevant to their chosen audience, on delivering contextual events and content that is meaningful and enriching, and being useful, entertaining and/or educational.

Read more on this subject on Wharton Penn’s site.

Re-discovering your social compass — old rules for the new digital world

Social Media is lost without a social compass.”  So says Brian Solis in a thoughtful, and thought-provoking article written as a foreword to the new book “The Ethical Practice of Social Media in Public Relations,” by Marcia W DiStaso and Denise Sevick Bortree.

Here’s the thing.

Just as you would advise any newcomer to the social (digital) world — from teenager to grandparent — not to say anything you wouldn’t say face-to-face, brands need to follow the same guidelines.

Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to a consumer face-to-face.

Continue reading Re-discovering your social compass — old rules for the new digital world

Forbes Magazine covers Friend2Friend’s Outside Magazine engagement

Delighted to have secured a great article in Forbes Magazine, ‘Creating Scalable, Engaging Editorial Content with MaaS — ‘Media as a Service.’

Forbes Magazine has published a review of how Friend2Friend’s Best Town Ever 2013 Social Voting Contest for Outside Magazine contributed editorial content for their September 2013 issue. The article outlines why Outside Magazine chose a Friend2Friend social engagement app and how the app worked.

3 Critical investment opportunities for brands

Now that the dust has settled over Facebook’s Q2 earnings results and the resulting share price changes, let’s look at what the latest results mean for brand marketers. No, not whether brand owners should speculate in Facebook stock, but instead what user behavior trends and which successful Facebook products should brands be investing in over the next six months?

Read some thoughts in an article written and placed in ClickZ this month.

No more B2C Marketing Envy

I love being in the consumer marketing business. I spent 6 months at BEA Systems once back in the early 90s, helping with the worldwide launch of a middleware product. When I asked “can I get a demo?” the team looked at me blankly. “A demo? No. It’s middleware.” That was when I finally decided I’d never work on marketing something I couldn’t use, play with, get the feel of and have fun with. And consumer tech marketing was where I could do all that. But it’s changing. B2B marketing is getting more entertaining. B2B marketing is definitely getting the zing of B2C. And content marketing will be the way it happens. Instead of blasting out one-to-many messages to consumers, businesses are forced consider what they can offer to help those consumers do their job better. Content creation is a challenge, but a good one. It forces businesses to think about their consumers — to focus on what’s important to them, and what they can offer that helps. Read this recent article written for, and placed last week in ClickZ “No More B2C Marketing Envy.” .

B2C marketing on social gets more complex every day — what social fragmentation means

Recent article written and promoted through the ClickZ network — What Social Fragmentation Means for Marketers — speaks to the increasingly fragmented story for brands for marketing on social. We have had considerable success encouraging our brand clients to bring multiple B2C social channel content efforts into a single space on Facebook, where content can be promoted and aggregated through the largest audience network.  Fanalog from SmartWool is a great example of work here.