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Re: Target market?



On Mon, 2007-07-23 at 16:06 -0400, seth vidal wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-07-23 at 15:02 -0500, Mike McGrath wrote:
> > One, simple question that may not have an answer.
> > 
> > 
> > What is our target market supposed to be?
> > 
> 
> according to the docs, etc I've seen in the past:
> - hobbyist/expert/early adopter
> 
> The only problem with that is that we seem to always be writing software
> and encouraged to direct our efforts to people who do not fall in that
> group. We're encouraged to write for ma and pa kettle and auntie 'em. 
> 
> That's been the biggest confusion I've had over the years.
> 
> It's not impossible to work for both groups - but I hate being told we
> are supposed to work for group 1 and then told to write for group 2.

So, this is just my personal opinion as A Dude Who Has Used Linux For A
While, but I always feel like we should be doing this in stages.


Stage 1: Make developers / maintainers / experts happy.

Stage 2: Use the combined power of thousands of aforementioned
developers / maintainers to make the distro awesome for Early Adopters
and other tech-savvy types.

Stage 3: With the greater numbers provided by Early Adopters, further
polish the distro to the point where it's usable by the Whole Wide
World.


Furthermore, I feel like Fedora is stuck trying to get to stage 2. I
think we know how to make (most) developers happy - so why aren't Early
Adopters choosing Fedora? They used to choose RHL a few years ago. Why
not now?

One answer could be that we are short on Experts in certain fields that
are important to Early Adopters. User Interface (including Web design)
and Interoperability with Other OSes (coughwindowscough) are two
important things that come to mind.

So. Obviously we should keep in mind that someday we want to go to Stage
3 and Total World Domination, but without a massive infusion of manpower
and mindshare we just can't get there. And unless something magical
happens, we aren't going to gain manpower or mindshare except by
starting with Early Adopters.

So, in short: I'd say our target market is the enthusiast/early
adopter. 

Not *experts* - people who have used Linux before - but people who have
*heard of* Linux and want an alternative to Windows. There's where the
next generation of developers will come from. Think back to when you
first installed Linux - undoubtedly most of us were the resident
Computer Tinkerer of our various social groups then, dissatisfied with
what we had and willing to learn something new. And now here we are. 

So, In my opinion, those are the people we want. We can worry about the
Mass Market once those people are happy. Now we just need to figure out
how to make them happy.

There's my two centibucks, anyway.

-w

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