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Why geeks suck at marketing
So let's have a look into the deep soul of a geek - of myself. I have an adblocker in all browsers, to not be disturbed by ads while I am browsing. And I don't want anyone to change this. I think that most of us don't believe in advertising. Or to put it in other words: most of us highly dislike advertising. It's noise. It disturbs. And ads are usually made to convince me to buy something that I don't need.
Those marketing companies and online advertisers have overstretched our temper with their intrusive full page layers. It doesn't even catch our attention for a single second. We will anyways find the X to close or we will find a way to hide advertisements subconciously, without even looking at the advertisement itself. Anyways, the way advertisements are placed is too generic. Often they appear on the bottom, the top or the sides of the page. Our brain is used to this fact already. We have been conditioned to know where advertisements and banners are supposed to be on the website. And we successfully ignore them.
Knowing that this advertisement and marketing dislike is deeply rooted, it directly explains why geeks suck at marketing: you don't do, what you don't want to be done to yourself. And of course you know how ineffective this way of advertisement is used to be.
How to fix this - try 1
Let's take us, ungleich, as an example. We are all geeks, have a similar mindset and the products we build are made for geeks. Geeks like us, who dislike advertisement. So we have a serious problem: we build products, but cannot advertise them without annoying our target audience. Well, even worse (or good?), our target audience will not even see advertisements, if we were to set them up. And even in the unlikely event that our target audience had their adblocker disabled or temporarily inactive, or if we would have used a hacky way to trick out adblockers, the ads wouldn't even get any attention, because of the points mentioned above.
If you are a real geek, you might think the following: if anyone builds a great product, people will just buy it. Because it is better than the others. So why don't we just focus on building great stuff.
Reality is a bit different though. People (as in: geeks!) don't know that your (or in this case, our) offer even exists.
How to fix this - try 2
Let's try it differently for a moment: imagine you were running advertisements, even though you don't believe in them. Instant fail. Because nobody reads them. And those who see them, don't believe in you. Because it does not feel authentic.
How to fix this - try 3
What about marketing-the-hard-way? What about talking about your project, posting on hackernews, reddit, your blog, twitter and medium-of-your-choice? Getting in touch with your target audience directly? And then whenever your product is being liked and generates more traction and revenue, begin to automate things. Do it the geeky way. This is exactly what we are doing now and it even has a name: "Do good, and talk about it". So if you are geek and you think you have a great product, now you have a way to market it with good conscience.
Famous last words
Oh, and before we forget: we have built a pretty awesome data center that offers VM hosting: Data Center Light. It is fully Open Source, powered by water power and runs fully on IPv6. Would be cool if you can spread the word about it!