Open Source products are often high on innovation but low on user experience and are often not presented well to the market. They come across as geeky, not user friendly, and sometimes, just ugly.
As these passionate engineers build these fantastic new products, they can be beat out by a large established company with sophisticated marketing and designers (although potentially inferior products). Take for example that I’ve been pretty vocal with the fact I believe Open ID needs a marketing strategy (note they’ve improved with some videos and adoption is picking up)
I know that pisses off a lot of engineers (many who look down their noses on marketing) but apparently companies like Sony had better MP3 players yet Apple’s superior marketing won the cause. How many of your friends have iPods? How many have Sony’s MP3 player?
So how could this be fixed? I was in Barcelona with some of the top bloggers in the area at our blogger dinner over Tapas and beers and we got onto the discussion on how there are some great open source products out there they really need business and marketing strategy in order to be successful.
How could this work? Open Marketing could be a virtual team of marketing professionals that could be centralized, and help create specialized marketing campaigns for products, and of course sharing in on whatever revenues or recognition that are generated.
If you know of any groups that are already doing this, or you would want to get involved and participate, please leave a comment.