Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




FogBugz: Projects practically manage themselves?

I happened to check out the Fog Creek home page and noticed that Fogbugz is being advertised with the tagline "Your projects will practically manage themselves".

Now, Fogbugz is a wonderful product, but in my view that statement is stepping firmly over the line into hyperbole land. It's the sort of thing that I expect from Rational, not Fog Creek.

To keep things on topic: when your primary customers are experienced software developers, what limitations do you have to put on your advertising to acknowledge the "there are no silver bullets" axiom?

Bill Tomlinson
Thursday, March 27, 2003

all aboard the cluetrain.

www.cluetrain.com

Limits on advertising doesn't address the underlying problem - real human communication with your customers.

fool for python
Thursday, March 27, 2003

List of things FogBugz does: for me
FogBugz features: for me
Reason for FogBugz limitations: for me
"Your projects practically manage themselves": for me to give to my boss to get him to cut the damn check.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, March 27, 2003

There's nothing wrong with the phrase "Your projects practically manage themselves" on the front of the web site. It's just the headline to grab your attention.

When you click on the picture next to the headline you get a page full of benefits.

And in actual fact the phrase "Your projects practically manage themselves" has a benefit in it.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, March 27, 2003

There's nothing wrong with the phrase "Your projects practically manage themselves" except that it's in market -speak, not real human voice and therefore turns people off.  READ the cluetrain.

fool for python
Friday, March 28, 2003

Most Companies Overpromise and under deliver, as long as Fog Creek is able to deliver what they promise, don't see a problem in they putting up catchy slogans.

BTW: Who came up with the "Projects practically manage themselves " bit ... Micheal, Joel....

Prakash S
Friday, March 28, 2003

But that's the point. That statement is a promise that all my experience as a software developer tells me that they can't possibly deliver on. There is not, and never can be, a product that you can just install and your projects will start managing themselves (even with the weasel word "practically" considered). Software project management is hard. A good product can help significantly, but you're still going to have to really work at it.

If I didn't know Fog Creek's background and I hadn't been a regular reader of Joel's columns, such a blatently marketing-speak statement would cause me to dismiss the product and question the professionalism of the company producing it.

I think that it's part of the nature of computer programmers that we tend to be overly literal (comes from working with extrodinarily literal machines, I suppose) and tend to take product statements, even marketing tag lines, as literal assertions by the company.

So getting back to my point, if you're selling software to the general public, for example, Quickbooks, you can make very broad statements like "makes accounting as easy as walking". But if you're selling software to professional software developers, I think that you have to be much more careful with the strict accuracy of even marketing taglines.

And I'll kiss ass again and say that I think that Fogbugz is a really good product. I just think that Fog Creek has made a mis-step in their marketing.

Bill Tomlinson
Friday, March 28, 2003

come on. what is he supposed to say?

"FOG BUGZ, THE BUG TRACKING SYSTEM THAT IS NOT AS COMPLICATED AS BUGZILLA AND ALSO HAS A FEW EXTRA FEATURES THAT YOU MIGHT FIND KIND OF NICE! SO IT IS WORTH PAYING FOR, YOU GREASY CHUMP!"  ?

choppy
Friday, March 28, 2003

Bill:

How wwould you describe FogBugz?

Prakash S
Friday, March 28, 2003

I have to chime in with the appologists.  I think it'S reasonable.

B#
Friday, March 28, 2003

I thought there was an ironic tone to it.  Especially with that picture of those guys jabbing at the computer.

anon
Friday, March 28, 2003

Allright. Uncle.

On this thread only one person, fool for python, agreed with me. And when the vast majority of people disagree with you there are only two options: they're all idiots or you're wrong. I'll give the forum members the benefit of the doubt.

So, there are two possibilities:
1. "Your projects will practically manage themselves" is a completely factual statement about the Fogbugz product.

2. It's perfectly allright to employ a little creative exaggeration in marketing material, regardless of your audience. On the grounds that everybody does it and everybody knows that everybody does it.

I'll go have a little think about where I went wrong.

Bill Tomlinson
Friday, March 28, 2003

choppy, that at least gives me a real reason to buy it rather than having to ask what is meant by "projects practically manage themselves" to which they would reply:

"FOG BUGZ IS A BUG TRACKING SYSTEM THAT IS NOT AS COMPLICATED AS BUGZILLA AND ALSO HAS A FEW EXTRA FEATURES THAT YOU MIGHT FIND KIND OF NICE! SO IT IS WORTH PAYING FOR! THOSE FEATURES ARE....."

fool for python
Friday, March 28, 2003

When I buy a car that rides so smooth it "practically drives itself," I fully expect that when I turn the ignition key, it'll take me home without any further action on my part.

Kyralessa
Friday, March 28, 2003

I have a dead horse that practically beats itself... but that not important now!

B#
Friday, March 28, 2003

Bill seems to be highlighting one of the differences between opensource projects and commercial.  In an opensource project, the frontpage news is like, "Well, the codebase is a piece of filth that we'll probably sprinkle some refactoring dust on later.  Anyone wanna try out our new 'release,' heheh?"  Engineers at their most honest.

anon
Friday, March 28, 2003

Anon,

you mean things like "Linux is secure, fast and scalable" ... by dogma, right?
Sorry, I don't want to step onto the same treadmill but saying OSS developers are so much more "honest" in their advertising is stretching it beyond where it snapped.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, April 04, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home