Advertising to developers?
I have an idea for a software library that could benefit a lot of companies and I'm considering setting up a company to produce it. I have potential investors lined up but the main thing that's putting me off is a problem that I guess you've had to address with FogBugz – how do you advertise to developers? Word of mouth is probably the best form of advertising but how do you go about building the critical mass that it requires? For my potential product I think that this problem is compounded by two things: Firstly, although the problems that my product addresses are pretty common only a minority of companies attempt to solve them so a developer would be unlikely to go looking for my product. Secondly the purpose of the product is not easily summed up in a tagline so banner ads on developer sites would be difficult. How would you address these issues? On the positive side every developer that I have discussed the project with has been eager to buy it, so I know that if I can get their attention for long enough I can sell it.
I would advise you to:
Thanks for the answers - at least I got a laugh out of it. ;-)
I get a newsletter every now and then from the kind folks at Codeproject.com.
Is there a blog community that you could target?
Another thing you could do is astroturf these forums by putting up a link to your developer website and saying:
Thanks guys. Unfortunately my target market would be C and C++ developers who I think are less likely to visit related websites and subscribe to newsletters etc than for newer technologies like .NET, but I guess there's still stuff like the C++ Users Journal and CodeProject.com (Thanks for the reminder about CodeProject by the way - I think that I discovered Visual Assist there, so it obviously worked for them) which would be worth a try.
Advertise it on JoelOnSoftware? (I just gave Joel an idea to make money)
Another way is to be active in adequate forums, be it Usenet, web or anything else, and toss in Lots of Great Responses to people's problems so that your name and signature will be Known and Respected.
I cannot believe that you are unable to describe your library/product in a single sentence.
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