Marcom For Fun

News posted on Fri, 2006-08-18 12:00

Happy 5th Birthday, Haiku! Has it been five years, already? Seems like just yesterday. Let's celebrate with a new article. :)

Welcome, IBM. Seriously.
Apple created an ad with the above text when the IBM PC came out. That was pretty bold, considering that IBM had a market cap hundreds of times that of Apple at that time. That is the sort of marketing that either makes a huge splash or flops badly. Apple has consistantly had this sort of bold marketing, and has mostly splashed.

Today, on Haiku's fifth birthday, I am wondering if we shouldn't have that same sort of boldness in marketing. The rest of the world is still far behind BeOS R5 in many features. No one has the quality of plug and play. No one has the file system search capabilities and speed. No one has the quality of API, although I admit that is somewhat subjective. Apple is just adding virtual desktops. Windows still doesn't have them. And, of course, neither of those companies can beat the price of Haiku.

It goes further, though. The PC world is really just now catching the vision "One processor per person is not enough" - something that we knew 10 years ago. Average people are starting to use their computers for more media and entertainment purposes. Convergence is becoming something more than a way to sell high end PC boxes. The vast majority of people are "computer literate". But maybe most important to us is that people are looking for a better way to use their computers. I hear, nearly every day, people complaining about their PC with a Seinfeld-esque "But whaddya gonna do, it's Windows" approach. Most marketers would kill to be in the position that Haiku will be in when R1 is released - millions of potential users who are anxious to switch, if only they could find a product that would do what they want.

We are creating a new team within Haiku - a Marketing/Communications (Marcom) team. Koki is leading it. For those who don't know him, Koki is a long time member of the BeOS community. He is fluent in Japanese, English and Spanish. He is also a professional in the realm of marketing with more than 10 years of experience. He will be responsible for website content, starting the Haiku User Groups (HUGs), WalterCon, press inqueries and marketing materials. I resisted this for a long time because I don't believe in bragging about what you haven't done, known in the industry as pre-announcing product. We are coming closer and closer, though, to the point where we will be bragging about what we have done. We need to be ready.