Learn Programming in 1 Day

Bill Marriott wjm at wjm.org
Sat Mar 15 14:19:42 EDT 2008


> And like an ad that misses
> its target, it might keep newbies away (because they'll realize it's still
> about programming)

The mailer's performing nicely, actually.

Question: If you're not interested in programming, how would you end up on 
our mailing list, and why would you purchase Revolution? I mean, we're a 
very easy-to-use product, but I don't think you can get away without coding.

> and will confort experienced programmers in
> their view of Rev as a cheap toy for beginners (just like "plug & play"
> kept legions of ppl away from the Mac for years).

Product positioning is as much about who will NOT use a product as who will. 
People buying Hummers don't put the environment at the top of their list, 
people who buy fur coats aren't PETA members, and so on. While Rev certainly 
has a strong case against the alternatives, trying to be all things to all 
people is a sure way to fail.

We'll probably never drop "easy to learn, easy to use" from the list of 
Revolution core benefits. It's what differentiates us from the other guys 
and makes it worth learning a non-standard language. Similarly, this is not 
an event for people "just off the street." You have to be interested in 
programming or you're not going to take time off work, travel, and spend 
money on a conference like this.

Fortunately, Rev has adopted an empricially-oriented marketing approach 
based on analysis of sales and marketing campaigns, plus surveys like the 
one we did last summer. "Learn programming" scores very high on the list of 
reasons why people came to the Rev web site in the first place. Also high on 
the list is the desire to quickly develop in-house tools/utilities, database 
front-ends, and other work projects.

The members of this segment are "casual programmers" for whom coding is not 
a primary job responsibility. They are enterpreneurs, consultants, managers, 
teachers, scientists, and creative people. Nevertheless they recognize the 
value of being able to streamline business processes, integrate disparate 
business systems, create multimedia software etc. They are curious about 
technology, and aspire to have greater control over their computers.

We know exactly what percentage of our users fall into these groups, as well 
as how many are professional programmers developing commercial applications.

Because of this empirical focus, we've been able to "tune in" much more 
effectively to our customer segments' needs. Over the past year, we've 
acquired newcomers to Rev (across the entire skill spectrum) at a markedly 
faster clip than in the past. That's evidence we are "hitting the target" 
better than ever.

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