February 9, 2016
It Only Takes One
I love talking to people and listening to them as they share their story with me. I find it fascinating to hear about what they do, what they work on, how they live, and what they love. There’s always one thing I notice when I have these conversations. When you ask someone what they do you will most often get some story about how they make money. Inevitably the question of what someone does is intrinsically tied to their bank balance. But if that’s the case then you’re asking the wrong question.
I’ve seen many posts before suggesting alternatives to the question about what someone does which will give you a better answer or a more enlightening response. I love those suggestions because that’s when something different happens. That’s the moment I notice something different.
Ask a better question, get a better answer.
Ask someone what they love, or ask someone what a perfect day might look like to them (and feel free to specify that it does not need to even be related to work) and watch the reaction and response you get. You’ll immediately see what I’m referring to. They don’t rattle off some answer related to how they pay their mortgage. No, instead you’ll see a passion ignite in their eyes, you’ll hear a lift in their voice, maybe even a smile will slowly emerge across their face. This is golden. This is why I love to listen to people share their story. I enjoy hearing what people are passionate about. I especially enjoy watching them get excited and feeling that excitement start to resonate in my own spirit. Because in this moment, in that flicker of a spark, you connect with someone on a deeper level.
Their passion, their excitement, their eagerness to share with you something they deeply care about and love is contagious. When you’re passionate about something and you share it with someone else you have the opportunity to go much further than answering the “what” question, you answer the “why” question. Did you catch that? Your motivation and energy to accomplish something which answers your “why” can resonate with others.
Imagine this with me now. What happens if you were to spend time each day sharing your passion, and your driving force with others. This contagious spark spreads. Your passion leaps from person to person, motivating, inspiring, and engaging. Those individuals in turn will share that passion and that experience with another, and another, and another. Suddenly what started as your vision, and your passion, a single solitary flame burning inside you is now a raging inferno spreading farther and faster than you ever imagined. Now you’re no longer alone, now you are a group of individuals brought together by a common goal, a common purpose and a common passion…wait, does that last sentence sound familiar? It should. I used a similar sentence once before in a previous post, only this time I’ve left off the first three words. Here is my previous sentence:
“Every successful community must be centered around a common belief, a common passion.”
You see, that same passion which excites you, and ultimately those around you; that same driving force which answers your “why” and that of others ultimately provides you with the basis of a community. And as that fire spreads your community grows.
People often ask why Mautic is such a successful community. They wonder at how we’ve grown so incredibly fast in such a short time. The answer is easy. In fact, the answer is so easy at times people struggle to believe its true. But it is. The Mauticians which make up our community have a common belief and a common passion. We rally around our goal and the answer to our “why” and we spread like a wildfire. If you still don’t believe this, talk to a Mautician, find someone who knows and loves Mautic and ask them about it. Watch the light in their eyes, the smile on their lips, and hear the excitement in their voice as they tell you how we’re revolutionizing the world, disrupting an industry, and empowering everyone. And then afterwards, well then I imagine I’ll see you very soon in the Mautic community.
Find someone who knows and loves Mautic and ask them about it. Watch the light in their eyes, the smile on their lips, and hear the excitement in their voice as they tell you how we’re revolutionizing the world, disrupting an industry, and empowering everyone.
June 4, 2015
I know you’re probably thinking when you read the title that I’m referring to socially unacceptable or perhaps profane talk. That’s quite far from what I’d like to share with you though. I’m referring to the differences of languages around the globe and the impact that these languages have on communication, growth, and community.
As most of you know I am deeply involved in the Mautic community. This isn’t the first community I’ve been a part of and I doubt it will be the last, but Mautic does hold a special place in my heart. Recently I witnessed something that gave me chills of excitement. You know what I mean, those raised goosebumps on your arms that tell you something big is happening, something way bigger than yourself and something so exciting your body reacts physically to its revelation.
You may be wondering what triggered this response. Language. Specifically the wonderful, beautiful Thai language. Not too long after the Mautic community was formed and began to grow I received a contact request from Akarawuth Tamrareang. He was very polite, very friendly, and very excited. He was excited because he saw an opportunity. He saw a young, vibrant and growing community that could be thrust forward to an entirely new level as a result of his direct influence and skills. He reached out for confirmation and support in his effort. His undertaking would not be a simple one. Krit, as he is affectionately called, wanted to translate the entire Mautic website into Thai.
I have to pause here and give you just a bit more personal information. I am an American, more specifically, from the United States. I took the required foreign language courses during my educational years but sadly I am no proficient in any language beyond English. (Unless, as I like to joke, you count code as a language and then I know a couple more). I travel extensively around the world and it never ceases to amaze me how many people speak multiple languages. I admit I am always left in awe at their ability. I respect and appreciate the skill this requires and the dedication of so many to be able to communicate in multiple languages. Now you know just how incredible I find Krit’s request and his ability.
Of course the Mautic community encouraged and supported Krit in his task and recently I was excited to reveal https://th.mautic.org as a translated version of Mautic.org. This is what gave me those chills. This is incredible. Almost overnight the Mautic community has been expanded in a mighty way. Now every native Thai speaker can experience and learn the power of Mautic in their own language.
This is the kind of thing that grows a community. It starts with one. Mautic is blessed to have Krit. But this is just the beginning. And I am excited to share that there are others following already! I will share each with you as they are announced!
And if you read Thai (and even if you don’t) you should take a look at this beautiful site.
March 18, 2015
The Power of Product Hunt
Chirp. That’s how it began. A single, simple, chirp from my Tweetdeck. I was in the middle of a meeting in my office when the tweet came in and I glanced only half-interested while deep in conversation. When I read the tweet however everything else stopped.
— Product Hunt (@ProductHunt) March 17, 2015
That was all it said. Added as a maker of Mautic. (Our open source marketing automation platform and community.) But I knew what this meant. I was very familiar with the twitter handle @ProductHunt. For those that don’t know what Product Hunt is here is a brief explanation. Product Hunt features a list of the best new products on the web. Every day the list is restarted. Throughout the day these items are voted on by the community and comments added. This social aspect allows trending of the most popular new items. For startups and early stage communities this is an incredible achievement and I was well aware of the power of Product Hunt. I’d even submitted Mautic in the past but had never heard anything back.
Happy St.Patrick’s Day
Now, here on St. Patrick’s Day, I had just received notice that we’d been added. Things kicked into high gear almost immediately. I excused myself from the meeting I was in and quickly informed the rest of the Mautic community that we had been “hunted” as Product Hunt refers to the adding of a new item.
And as expected, traffic spiked. (See graph above) We watched – anxiously monitoring our web servers as they creaked under the sudden load increase. But though we may have been anxious we had a confidence because we had some great tools in place.
Some Of Our Tools
We were using a CDN for static assets (CloudFlare is amazing), we also have a secret weapon (not too secret). We use New Relic. We could monitor throughput, response times, CPU usage, memory usage, and errors in live time. This was incredibly helpful as there were moment when we were registering a dozen accounts a minute and we found a problem with simultaneous registrations. We were able to fix them incredibly quickly and notify those few affected users directly. Remember, first impressions are everything! Zendesk was also a great help in monitoring and responding to any specific questions or support issues.
Of course we had thoroughly tested and re-tested to ensure we could handle a traffic increase and traffic spikes (we knew we would be wildly popular once people began to hear about Mautic). But there’s nothing like the confidence that when things are actually exploding you are capable of dealing with the situations as they occur.
Helping Continue Momentum
We continued the buzz by promoting Mautic’s addition to the list through various social media posts. We had to work fast because although we were aware of Product Hunt and hoped to be featured we had to create the resources on-the-fly. We created a custom short URL, http://mau.tc/prod-hunt which would be easy to share (Thanks to Bitly.) And then very soon after the announcement we released this on our social media platforms:
But we didn’t stop there. We continued to share the good news to hopefully increase the visibility of our listing throughout the day. We updated all our social media platforms at the same time. Following some good advice we didn’t stagger our announcements but posted everywhere.
Later we created a second social media announcement focused on the specialness of being listed on St. Patrick’s Day and later in the afternoon we released this graphic:
The response was tremendous. These social media posts helped to boost our presence and awareness of our placement on Product Hunt. As a result we saw an increase in upvotes on the site and our listing began to trend. Things continued to grow as a result and now, the day after we are still “above the fold” as we continue to trend into the second day on Product Hunt.
All in all the day was a thrilling and somewhat wild ride. We saw thousands and thousands of new users and an incredible response to Mautic. Just as we had all suspected, people are thrilled when they discover the power of free and open source marketing automation. My alert may have started with a single chirp from a single tweet, but it wasn’t long before the notifications were coming in so close together the sounds were overlapping.
If you have a startup or a young community then you may be aware of Product Hunt already. If not, you should be. If you are, take a look at some of the tips I shared above to help you capitalize on your listing and do everything you can to maximize your social sharing!
February 4, 2015
December 15, 2014
Beta List Featured Startup Mautic
So there’s an awesome website, if you’ve never heard of it you need to check it out. It’s called Beta List. Beta List gives you just what it sounds like, a list of awesome new software platforms that are currently in beta. You can get a quick overview of what the app does and view a screenshot or two before visiting the site to sign-up for the beta.
No, not an advertisement!
Why am I talking about this website? I’ll tell you why. Yesterday I was notified, much to my delight, that our young, new community Mautic has been added to the list and featured. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s pretty awesome to be placed on the list among other great up-and-coming beta apps. We’re incredibly excited to share Mautic with new people and introduce others to the future of marketing automation. Free and open source marketing automation.
Check us out!
If you have time I’d encourage you to stop by our listing, check us out, but also look around at some of the other amazing beta opportunities listed on the website. Oh, and I apologize in advance because you may get lost in the excitement of looking around and lose track of time.
September 23, 2014
Use Marketing Automation and Never Work Again!
What is Marketing Automation?
To some this is a familiar term and to others its a bit intimidating. Let’s look first at what marketing automation is and then we’ll look at a few more related topics and hopefully give a pretty clear picture about what we’re doing.
Marketing automation is defined by wikipedia as the following:
Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.
This is a fairly detailed definition which while it answers the question of what marketing automation is, it could perhaps be simplified somewhat. Marketing automation is powerful software and processes which makes complex and repetitive tasks easy. (That’s pretty simple). It doesn’t mean you don’t work, but it does help with the repetitive and mundane tasks.
So that’s a bit easier but still rather generic. Let’s look quickly at who marketing automation is for and who should be interested in the topic.
Who is Marketing Automation For?
Marketing automation is for every business. Maybe that’s not completely true. Before Mautic was created marketing automation was something only available to large businesses with significant marketing and sales budgets. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of something which is revolutionizing a market and empowering businesses of all sizes. Marketing automation is changing forever. We are building software which everyone can use to save them time, simplify their sales processes, and learn their customers better. Mautic allows you to do everything from better lead nurturing and targeting to social media networking with potential clients. Marketing automation also helps you automate tasks such as email campaigns and much more.
Why Open Source?
So if there are such powerful software platforms already providing these services why bother with creating another one? If you’ve followed my writing at all then you know I’m passionate about open source. I believe strongly in the power of open source and I have volunteered hundreds (thousands) of hours to open source and its promotion. I truly believe open source makes our world a better place. Whether you’re talking about a content management system to power your website or software tools to give you the business tools you need to be successful. Open source now provides an option. Read my previous articles about open source and community if you need more reasons or specifics for why open source is important.
What is So Special?
So now we know what marketing automation is and we also know why open source as a software type is important we can now look at what makes Mautic different and special. As I said previously marketing automation was not available for everyone. Marketing automation used to cost thousands of dollars a month and was simply unaffordable for many for most small and medium sized businesses. Not any more. Mautic is special because it completely disrupts everything. Mautic is providing the powerful tools of marketing automation to businesses of all sizes at a cost everyone can afford. Free. This open source community is focused on empowering every business and giving everyone equal opportunities for success. That’s revolutionary. And as an open source community it’s exciting.
When Is It Available?
Ok so now some of you may be as excited as I am; at least I hope you are. Because Mautic is all about equality. Breaking down the barriers which previously kept powerful software away from the every-day businesses. Open source is truly changing our world. I am as eager and anxious as the next person to see Mautic released and am hardly sleeping as we work to release the beta software. Dates are shifting constantly (as always with software development) but we have a strong expectation that we’ll be able to release an alpha version to those businesses which have signed up to be early testers within the next several weeks.
You can check back on my blog as I will be posting more information about what is to come in the weeks to follow and if you have any specific questions or ideas please let me know – I would love to hear from you! We have great things ahead. And I truly believe we are all in this together – Let’s work together to do revolutionary things!
September 4, 2014
A Vision Statement
One of the first things every community should have is a reason for doing what they do. I’ve said it numerous times before and I’ll probably elaborate on it even more in a future blog but the first and most important part of every community is the “why”. I won’t go into more details now; if you want to refresh your memory watch this video.
A vision statement for a community is important to understanding the why and sharing a grand “perfect world” example of what things would be like if the community’s why is achieved. If you have never heard or thought about a vision statement before or if you simply want to learn more about them then keep reading.
What is a Vision Statement
According to the Business Dictionary the definition for a vision statement is as follows:
An aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serves as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.
These aspirations are usually grand in scope and world-changing in philosophy. Some might even consider them to be unattainable. The vision is what the community strives to see happen. It’s their purpose for existing and their motivation for future improvements. The vision statement helps to shape the direction and course for decisions and choices which might affect the entire community.
Because the vision statement shapes the direction of the community it is quite important that the vision match up closely with the why of the community. Now that we understand what a vision statement is by definition let’s look at a few examples.
Examples of Vision Statements
The following are some examples of vision statements from well-known companies. See if you can find similarities between them.
Shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world
Our vision is nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.
– Creative Commons
Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.
– Save the Children
Almost every community, non-profit organization, and company has a vision statement. I’ve explained the reasons above why a vision statement is important and now we have three samples from three vastly different types of organizations. What similarities can we find? First, each of these statements clearly defines a purpose: shaping the future (Smithsonian), drive a new era (Creative Commons), and every child attains the right (Save the Children). Each of these purposes is grand in scale. Each one wants to change the world.
There’s nothing wrong with a vision statement that seems impossible to achieve. Your vision is your ideals, your goal, and the thing which motivates you as you make decisions. If you are in a community that doesn’t want to change the world…then why would you even bother. Making a difference in the world is one thing which instills the passion in volunteers.
A Problem Identified
As I shared previously, I’m excited to be involved in a brand new open source community. Mautic, is a free and open source marketing automation software. The Mautic community is centered on a very particular focus. Small business. The little guy. The underdog. Whatever you want to call us. We’re the ones working to build the base for our world. Our companies are the ones which employ the most people, provide the most revenue, and give stability to the global economy.
Previously we’ve been neglected. Big business likes to work with big business. That means big software companies like to focus on big business because they can charge more money and make more profits. Because of this misplaced focus the small businesses are disadvantaged. We lose out on access to tools and resources which others are able to use. Because we are ignored we lose opportunities. Without opportunities our chances for success are lessened. We see this as a problem.
The Mautic community is focused on solving this problem. We, as a collective group of individuals, are joining together for a purpose, and a cause. We have grand ideas about what we want to do and we want to see the world changed. Here is our vision statement:
Mautic is free and open source marketing automation and our community is passionate about doing big things and changing our world. I can’t wait to share more about what we can do and how we can do it. I’ll hopefully provide another update as things move quickly towards a grand unveiling. I’m excited to be able to be a part of something so revolutionary and if you’re interested in joining this community you are welcome to become a part. We’re all in this together and we’re passionate about changing our world.
August 19, 2014
Open Source Project Update (Top Secret)
For those of you who have been following my blog and have seen my previous post about what I’m so ecstatically working on then this post will serve as a bit of a status update. If you are curious about what I’m talking about then I suggest reading back on my previous post. I admit I was slightly abstruse in my previous post. I’ll clear some of that up with this article…I hope. Here’s more information on this revolutionary new open source project (soon to be released).
What’s in a name?
I guess the first thing which would be important to share is the name of this super top-secret project. I’m excited to announce this new open source software will hereby and forever more be known as Mautic. Now before you go trying to figure out what it means let me save you the time and let you know you won’t find much. We developed a name which held the meaning, the essence, of what we were creating and are thrilled with the result. So what is the essence of the platform being created? That’s the next exciting question I get to answer.
What is Mautic?
Mautic is a free and open source marketing automation platform. That’s right, completely free and completely open source. No strings attached. After seeing this completely closed-source dominated market space and how severely it impacts the lives and successes of hundreds of thousands (millions even?) of small and medium-sized businesses which simply cannot afford the extravagant monthly costs of existing software-as-a-service only solutions we knew there was a problem. Mautic is set to fix that problem. We’re disrupting the space and introducing the power of open source to marketing automation in much the same way the CMS landscape was forever changed by the release of three powerhouse open source systems (Drupal, Joomla, WordPress) back in 2004-2005.
We are excited to be the catalyst for this movement and help grow the community around this project. The simple bottom-line answer – Mautic is a game changer.
The First Big Decision
One of the very first big decisions we needed to make was in regards to our logo which would represent us. We went through a very, very detailed process which if others are interested in the psychology behind the final selection or are interested in hearing more about the process involved with defining a brand image then definitely let me know. I’d love to share (as I said this platform truly is something the community can rally around) but I certainly don’t want to waste anyone’s time with “the details”. Needless to say a lot of time, effort and community feedback was involved in this process of selecting the most appropriate logo. And so I’m excited to announce and share the version which will represent the Mautic brand.
Without any further ado. Here is the shiny new logo for Mautic the free and open source marketing automation platform.