Apologies guys, this is a pretty long post.
I thought about this one a bit before posting and will pre-cursor it by saying i’m a big supporter of any community driven initiative when it comes to getting the network out there but i’m not entirely sure it’s been fully thought through.
Please bear with me, I really love these videos from Dewild (they’re really cool mate, please keep making them) and I would happily chip in for funding for anything along those lines if needed no questions asked.
But there is something bugging me a bit with this topic, not trying to be a baddie just raise a point which hopefully might lead to a bit further discussion from some far more knowledgeable people in this field than me.
This isn’t an easy question to ask given the poor guys are constantly harassed, but what would be really nice is to hear from Maidsafe themselves a very brief and succinct thought process as to how they are thinking of approaching the whole marketing side of the network prior to Beta (Please note i’m excluding Maidsafe the company and their advertising from this discussion).
I’m not asking for “we plan to do xyz on a particular timeframe”, that’s not fair and something they honestly should be keeping very close to their chest (yes, even away from the Community for now). What I guess i’m looking for is something along the lines of (and this is just an example of a possible response) “we’ll drip feed the market with lower tiered marketing/advertising that we feel appropriate as we iterate through the next alpha stages before re-evaluating further decisions from this point onwards”.
This is of course just an example (and what my gut/observation tells me) and there could be a bunch of reasons why again this response may not be forthcoming.
I’m sure Nick in particular knows very well about balancing the whole concept of moving to a high burn rate far too quickly. Once you take that route there’s usually no return. and it’s hard to go back. Not many companies get this right and don’t work out their exact market fit and believe that it’s just a matter of spending money to reach the right customers or users. I think we are super lucky with Maidsafe and in particular Nick (that I can read from previous posts and documentation) he/the company gets this.
In the end marketing itself in whatever form, unlike effort invested in the network itself, can’t be leveraged unless the company is ready to send the product out to the customer.
Why am I raising these points, well I don’t know whether there’s been enough direction filtered down to the Community as to how we can best assist Maidsafe with this aspect of things.
Please, I don’t think any of us are entitled to a response but it would be really nice to align ourselves and our efforts as a community to the vision Maidsafe have for the Network and the people they think we should be trying to reach.
It’s been hinted on here before that a product with a truly great value proposition in the end practically sells itself. The right time to really dig into the sales and marketing is when it seems you have a market fit product. I’ll try and be gut wrenchingly honest, it doesn’t appear we’re actually there yet (and won’t be for a little while yet).
There was a really good post previous on here by a forum member that directly mentioned the importance of scaling (sotros25 i think it was). In plain english needing to know who you’re selling to, the tailoring of that specific message etc etc.
Watching the forum it appears as though there’s a tonne of talented people literally bursting at the leash to throw themselves into action in this department.
I know from their nice posts that Maidsafe are so appreciative of these people and realise how special a community they have behind them. I guess though the direction we are starting to take in this regard as a community isn’t wrong or misguided but would be much better served having some direction as to how best we can get our message out to the wider (targeted though) world.
Pushing out videos that you can see people have put their hearts into makes me genuinely happy to know there’s like minded people prepared to give anything of their time to make this network happen, but I do ponder whether burn out over time from the community becoming a concern if we just are aimless in heading down the path of our marketing.
Sure the fire burns bright and we could get the message out there I’m sure, but what in 18 months if we’re still waiting for Alpha 4 and the air has gone out of the creative tyres of all/most of these community members. I would really hate to see that happen.
I’m sure there’s arguments otherwise but well-intentioned (and really great) community efforts really end up losing a lot of their initial value if their not specifically targeted at the right time and to the right audience.
To borrow a term from Jabba, I genuinely don’t know my arse from my elbow when it comes to this stuff but I can see a big red warning light flashing in the distance if we continue down our own path in the marketing/advertising department.
The community 100% should be involved doing this but it needs to be with the end goal of the networks arrival and the goals that Maidsafe have clearly outlined to get to that path.
This post isn’t meant to dismiss any efforts so far (I’ve sat and watched those latest community videos at least a dozen times and shared them amongst everyone I know) and they deserve nothing other than encouragement and big pats on the back for those involved.
I guess i’m saying direction is needed as to how we can best help (if we are actually helping at this stage).
I know Maidsafe know exactly what they are doing and 100% trust them and don’t want them to give too much away. Just maybe encourage some input from them onto the forum as to what they think is best in helping them push this product out from a community marketing perspective and at what stage that should all happen.
Ps: I know this was a super long post and people are busy including Maidsafe themselves so I apologise, I just am seeing a few little flags that can be easily removed if communication is able to be facilitated with Maidsafe in this regard. I know they are so busy and don’t want to distract them, but the community is a massive weapon and it needs to be used correctly.
Feel free to give me a serve if this post doesn’t read well, just needed to be put out there for consideration and discussion.