overcoming obscurity

How can you make money when your product is available free? Dingbat I've just purchased Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. It's a clever young adult (YA) novel about being a kid in America in the very near future--with access to so much technology yet victimized by an overbearing government. I'm only six chapters in so far but I love this guy's writing. (Hint: don't read this book if you strongly support the Patriot Act.) In a case of "new rules" marketing, he is offering the book through the traditional vendors but also via free downloads! Doctorow explains,
For me--for pretty much every writer--the big problem isn't piracy, it's obscurity.
And when you love a book, don't you tell people? And don't you buy a new copy after you lend the old as a gift? I've done that with Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, The Old Man's War, Pillars of the Earth plus Inmates are Running the Asylum, The Deadline, The PC is not a Typewriter, New Rules of Marketing, and others. The same is true of products. The challenge for most products--and product marketers--is overcoming obscurity. One way for people to find you is to publish. Fill your web site with white papers, ebooks, news releases, implementation guides... rich content written for users and technicians, not just brochureware for buyers. Just win me over! And then I'll buy and buy and buy.
Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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