What do most Rev developers do?

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Wed Jan 26 14:55:57 EST 2005

Lynch, Jonathan wrote:

 >>What do you do?
 > I have the pleasure of coding Transcript nearly full-time, crafting
 > vertical market products for myself and my clients, with the balance
 > spent assisting with the marketing of those products.
 > What is a vertical market?

A market that stands on its hind legs and begs for attention. :)

"Vertical market" describes a relatively specialized sub-market, in 
contrast to broader consumer and business markets.

HyperRESEARCH is a good example:  It's a cross-platform tool for 
qualitative analysis, used by sociologists and psychologists for 
broad-sample research studies, corporate marketers running focus groups, 
and can be used well to help collate and organize data from 
comprehensive usability studies as well.  Definitely not for everyone, 
but in its market it does quite well (we just doubled sales over last year).

WebMerge is another one: as a tool that generates static web pages from 
just about any database or spreadsheet content, it tends to appeal to a 
subset of webmasters and business owners who need to put something on 
the web quickly without the hassle of setting up a live database.  Out 
of the larger market of all webmasters, WebMerge addresses a need found 
only by a relative few -- fortunately there are enough of those "few" 
that it's rather popular for the somewhat specialized task it does.

I think sub-market-specific tools like these represent a certain "sweet 
spot" for Rev development among smaller software publishers.

With broader markets like the office suites we were discussing earlier, 
there's too much competition and often from large teams, so small 
companies will find a tough time entering the market and a tougher time 
staying there.

But by focusing on specialized sub-markets you have little competition, 
and often from other small shops but who are saddled with the 
encumbrances of traditional development tools.

The strong return-on-investment proposition inherent in working with a 
very-high-level language like Transcript works quite favorably in such 
circumstances:  It will likely cost you the same amount to build a 
feature as it'll take a C-based company to have a meeting about it, and 
you can use the balance to out-market them.

In broader markets you may still have the same ROI proposition, but just 
as likely you'll also be up against a larger development team so the 
time-to-market advantage may not be there.  And in most cases you'll be 
up against a larger marketing budget too, so even a message about a 
superior product can easily be lost in their deluge.

The ways people work are ever-changing, so it's my belief that there are 
at least 10,000 new software categories waiting to be discovered by 
anyone willing to explore new ways of thinking about task analysis.  If 
I can assist even a half-dozen specialized tasks with a fresh take that 
the market responds to I'll be a happy man. :)

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  Rev tools and more: http://www.fourthworld.com/rev

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