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Re: Target market?

On 7/23/07, seth vidal <skvidal linux duke edu> 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.

Well writing for group 1 is pretty much pull a new rabbit trick out of
your hat every 6 months that is completely different from what you had
before. I can see that working for focused projects: mugshot, sugar,
etc.. but for an entire OS that pretty much becomes a hard thing.

To use a broken analogy from Geoffrey Moore, a market is usually split
between 1-2 gorillas, 1-2 chimps, and a lot of monkeys. The gorilla's
take most of the bananas, and the monkeys take the bananas that the
gorillas cant reach or the ones that they can get off the floor
quickly. The chimp while always trying to get the most bananas has to
fight an 800 lb gorilla or try to catch the small monkeys. The moral
was that you do not want to be the Chimp because you are always having
to work twice as hard for 1/10th as much. This to me looks like what
we are stuck about looking for markets. We want to be the gorilla, but
the Apple and Microsoft gorillas have their bananas pretty strongly
grabbed. And there have been a lot of small monkeys that have taken
our old bananas away.

The way to get out of this fix is usually to redefine the market and
become either the gorilla or the monkey of this market. Apple did it
by saying it is the personal music/movie market. It has the style to
accomplish this and does it well. Red Hat proper has defined itself as
being the 'boss' in the Linux (and shrinking Unix) markets. Ubuntu has
done the same in defining itself as the 'Apple' of the Linux market.
Rpath in some ways has taken the role of being the monkey of the
market in that it wants to supply lots of people with ways to get
small bananas that the big guys don't want.

We (Fedora) can continue to try and play catchup or we can redefine
what our market is.. If we are going for the early adopters.. we need
to go for the early adopters in one field.. focus on that market and
grow from there.. If we are going to focus on the desktop crowd, then
really focus it: make it so people can do what they want on a desktop
with some amount of ease. [Music, movies, mugshot, etc]

If we are going to be a monkey, focus on allowing people to make their
distro of the day and how to keep it up... what processes are
hindering this (CLA?, culture?, no clue?)

And the Earth is a way too big project for any group of people to do.
I mean I want an OS thats going to get security and backported for 4-7
years... but thats not Fedora (or at least the Fedora as it is now).

Stephen J Smoogen. -- CSIRT/Linux System Administrator
How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed
in a naughty world. = Shakespeare. "The Merchant of Venice"

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