Open Source Marketing

Why can’t marketing be more like the rest of Silicon Valley who have long shared ideas, resources and processes across startups?

Engineers have been doing this for decades and the open source movement takes this to a worldwide level. Startup founders are also forming alliances (often facilitated by common VCs or groups like Y Combinator). The startup stories of Apple and other companies show that many great technology companies came out of “clubs” of people that were passionate about technology.

But us startup marketers have stayed on the sidelines protecting our mediocre ideas and processes. If we pulled together, we could dramatically improve our contribution to the success of startups. Many of us have become complacent about accepting a flawed marketing process for bringing companies to market — as long as we’re better than the other guys we’ll always have a “job opportunity”. But successfully bringing a startup to market is much bigger than any one job. Knowing you’ve built a sustainable thriving company is a huge accomplishment and can put you in a financial situation that means you never have to worry about a “job” again.

In an earlier post I explained why I believe the startup marketing process is broken. In a nutshell, today’s “long term” comp packages prevent effective startup marketers from specializing in the traction stage — the most important stage in building a valuable company. Specialization and repetition are the ways to get really good at this “traction” process. Shared learning will help all involved improve their processes much more quickly.

This medium (blog?) is my attempt to share my experiences and get the ball rolling on collaboration with other startup marketing leaders. I really like that I’m now getting some great comments from readers. Most of the comments begin with “I wholeheartedly agree” or something like that — which is great. But what would be even more valuable is “I disagree and here’s where my experience has been different…”

I’m also starting to connect offline with other startup marketing leaders who share my passion to develop a better startup marketing approach. I share detailed process documents and get great feedback from these new friends. Please consider this an open invitation to any other marketing leaders from VC backed startups that want to contribute to and learn from this effort. Drop me a comment below.

P.S > I’m going to keep posting this on Medium — in aeternum — for free. If you want to pay* for these posts to continue, you can do so here, here or here.

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