Andre Durand

Discovering life, one mistake at a time.

Archive for October, 2002

Hyper-Aggressive Strategies

October 25, 2002 By: Andre Category: Life

So I’ve been brewing this past week on the notion of hyper-aggressive strategies. The concept being, how do you organize an effort such that the touch-points for the intended user provide low-friction barriers to entry.

If you are a software company competing in a space against competition which is entirely proprietary, then leveraging open source as a marketing and demand creation strategy is indeed a hyper-aggressive strategy.

At Jabber in the early days, we very consciously identified our sales cycle as it related to open source and how it accelerated and expanded our reach into enterprises looking for an IM solution. In particular, it went something like this:

1. enterprise identifies that it wants to internalize and take control over employee IM conversations.

2. IT department get’s on Google and searches for ‘Instant Messaging’ – comes across Jabber as an 1) interoperable, 2) XML-based, 3) open-source platform for instant messaging and presence applications.

3. IT department downloads Jabber open source server, scans documentation and begins to play with one of the many dozens of clients.

4. at such point that the company develops an RFP, Jabber is already the ‘default’ standard by which they judge all other competing products.

5. the RFP process becomes nothing more than ‘following protocol’ and tool used to negotiate price to purchase jabber. 

6. by the time the enterprise calls Jabber, Inc. to ‘discuss’ the qualities of the commercial server, they have already done their pre-qualification, testing and analysis of the product, and are pre-disposed to select Jabber, barring the pricing becomes inhibitive, in which case they find ways to stay with the free open source server, and Jabber still ‘wins’.

By understanding the cycle and the dynamics of the cycle, Jabber, Inc. was able to fine-tune the model. Consciously ‘turning-the-crank’ by idenifying and removing frictional points within the cycle. Over time, we created as close to an exothermic vehicle as possible, whereby the positive feedback from every win in the open source project was a direct future win for the commercial company, and vice-versa.

This hyper-aggressive strategy has resulted in Jabber becoming the #1 distributed IM infrastructure in the world in 2.5 short years, with over 125,000 servers deployed and major customers such as Disney, AT&T, Bell South, France Telecom, HP, Oracle, IBM, Intel and the list goes on and on.

Building upon that model, I’m now in search for the equivilent ‘hyper-aggressive’ strategy correlating to the build-out of a network. Of course, where the network adopts technology, open source will become a component of the strategy, however, there are likely other ways to mimic the core attributes of open source in business and the specifics of this are now being looked at as we introduce the PingID Network, an identity network designed to facilitate the roll-out of Federated Identity Services and Management. The first stop was to understand the VISA model for collaboration amongst competitors within a cooperatively managed and owned organization. But we’re not stopping there. VISA was a phenomenon, largely a product of the times, the players and the personalities which developed it into the powerhouse that it is today (e.g. difficult to replicate).

More to come…

Mitch Kapor’s new OSAF to use Jabber

October 23, 2002 By: Andre Category: Life

I had the opportunity to meet Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus last year at Esther Dyson’s PC Forum. At the conference, he spoke with me about Jabber briefly, wanting to understand the state of the technology and where I thought it was going. He mentioned that he was working on a new project, but was fairly conservative in discussing details.

Today CNET announced his new project, Chandler, which is an open source version of Outlook targeting small to mid-sized businesses.

Digital ID World Re-Cap

October 11, 2002 By: Andre Category: Life

Well, the tornado has stopped, and what Esther refers to as *post-conference depression syndrome PCDS* has officially kicked in… I should have done… I forgot to talk to… I didn’t… did I forget… and the list goes on and on. Tomorrow I’m off to Columbia, so my pain should be brief.

Overall the conference was a success. I’m not sure what the final numbers were, but I heard we ended up around 268 — so I think we’ll *hopefully* at least be in the black. We’ll see.  

I spent most my time in the hall talking about the PingID Network and trying to get caught up on what was hot. I figured I’d watch the session videos when Griffin finished editing them (Go Griff) and that a better use of my time was meeting people in person while I had the chance.

One of the big highlights was the live blogging which took place by Doc, Dave, Rageboy, Denise, Adam and others. Thanks to Justin, Kevin and Griff for putting Pronto, the RSS Aggregator online. I also heard it got /dotted. Check it out. real-time conference blogs.

net/net, I think I really enjoy the conference business, and look forward to making 2003 even better.

It’s Show Time

October 07, 2002 By: Andre Category: Life

Well, after 7 months of hard work, tomorrow is showtime as people decend on Denver for our first annual Digital ID World conference. Boy has this been a lot of work! I’m definitely going to need a vacation after this is over.

On another note, I received another nice email today from an old BBS user who wrote:

“I was a BBS enthusiast during my college days and you could say I tried about almost every BBS software around till I came across Mindwire. Drool was all I could do at that time not being able to afford it.

Luckily I stumble across your website and to think you had just put Mindwire for free just a few weeks back.

All I can say I am forever grateful though I technical support would be out of the question, all the same, THANK YOU.”