Monday, January 6, 2014

Make Your Software Business Remarkable

Book review of Purple Cow - Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin (published 2009 by Portfolio, a member of the Penguin Group).

Cows are boring, Godin insists. Purple cows are remarkable. This book is all about making your business remarkable. While "Purple Cow" is not particularly about selling software, the book can help microISVs' software marketing.

Godin believes that you have two choices: Be remarkable or watch your business fail. Remarkable marketing means building into your product or service the things that are worth noticing.

You won't be remarkable if you create a copycat or me-too product or service. And you can't salvage a boring product or service by creating an unusual marketing or sales campaign. Good software marketing requires your application to be remarkable.

I think Godin would be upset by the number of look-alike products that independent software developers are building and selling. If he were more familiar with the software development industry, he might be shouting, "Stop writing me-too desktop/laptop applications, and start thinking in new ways about the cloud, about software as a service (SaaS), and about iOS and Android apps."

You have to place a purple cow into every application you develop and market. Start innovating. Now. You can't compensate for a ho-hum program by buying adwords, banner ads, or popunders.

Developers have to create remarkable applications, and get them immediately into the hands of early adopters, and people who will use buzz to spread the word about these products and services. Short development cycles, along with major changes, are the way to craft and market your software.

This is not a book about the software development industry. In one case study in our industry, however, Godin talks about Logitech. Godin believes that Logitech  became the fastest-growing technology company in America by recognizing that they're in the fashion business. They may not make high-tech mouse products, Godin points out, but they make unusual ones that people want to own.

The book is a quick read. It's worth the hour or two you'll spend reading it. "Purple Cow" will boost your software marketing.

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