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November 07, 2007

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Paul Everitt

Yep, I mostly meant it as a marketing, e.g. positioning, statement. Is Plone something in a particular segment (upper mid-tier) of some particular market (CMS) that has people reviewing it, analysts recommending products in that market, purchasers writing RFPs for the market, etc.?

Or, is it used to build things with different brands/expectations that are themselves in such markets?

Thus, it is a lot about positioning and expectation management. However, it's also about product vs. platform planning. Do we always ensure that the needs of the product's users come ahead of the needs of the developers that want freedom to change anything/everything, take it in new directions, etc.?

Zope, for example, started as a product named Principia. Back in 1997, we tried really hard to *hide* Python (believe it or not) and let people assemble websites using our product. Transitioning to Zope, we gained a bunch of people that wanted to write new and unexpected things for it, making it a platform. And those people eventually rebelled against the product part of the software (ZMI, TTW site building, ZClasses, restricted Python, etc.)

Ultimately Zope 3 shed any concept of having an out-of-the-box product. In fact, the only reason there is still a ZMI (Rotterdam) is that they can't easily disable it. [wink]

Thus, not knowing if you are a product or a platform can have some negative consequences, IMO.

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Scott is the co-founder and managing partner at Abstract Edge, a creative digital agency that provides online marketing, brand-focused design and technology services to organizations with serious content publishing needs.


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