The four Cs of marketing in OSS (not diamonds)

A slightly divergent thought for you today. Most of you are probably familiar with the 4 Cs standard for describing the quality of diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.

For marketing of OSS or any tech, there is a need to stand out from everyone else. Seth Godin calls it the Purple Cow – to design a differentiator and talking point into your initial offer.

The 4 Cs of tech marketing* are: Cutting-edge, Contrarian, Controversial and Clarify. (You could also throw in Communications and Convenience into the list).The big C to avoid is Convergent-thinking. There is a tendency to follow the buzz-words, which leads to a lack of differentiation (ie brown/black cows).

As implementers of OSS, we don’t tend to see ourselves as marketers but the reality is that we’re marketing and persuading in almost every OSS role.

* As opposed to the traditional 4 Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

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