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How does one generate IT hype?

Some companies generate a lot of hype. For example, Sun generated a lot of hype around Java, Oracle generated hype around their product being unbreakable, etc.

You may say that these are companies with large budgets, and that's how they generate mega-hype.

But there are some other companies, such as the one making Windows Commander (a Norton Commander clone for Windows). They got threatened by Microsoft, because the name of the program contained "Windows", and they changed the name of the product to Total Commander.

Being threatened by MS got them a lot of press, their software was downloaded a lot, and a lot of the downloaders bought it.

So, it's a small company that generated mega-hype by... getting threatened by Microsoft! :-)

What are some other ways to generate hype, for a small software company?

Monday, October 13, 2003

open source!

Monday, October 13, 2003

Piss-off the RIAA???

Monday, October 13, 2003

With the first two examples mentioned, Sun's Java and Oracle's [db|dev tools|app server|etc] I think they had a few things going for them:

1. Decent quality products.
2. Works on most platforms.
3. Can download free developer copies of these tools and servers.
4. Major marketing campaign.
5. "Not Microsoft" which was arguably a technical argument before Windows 2000 came out.

There are many factors to this such as developer acceptance and luck, but those are the big ones IMHO.

Monday, October 13, 2003

If you know how to do this reliably, you can set your own price.

Monday, October 13, 2003

I don't think it was Sun that hyped Java to start with. I seem to remember back in 1996-1997 that it was released almost apologetically. It coincided with the big internnet boom, and I think it was the tech savvy public and media that made all the noise.

Stephen Jones
Monday, October 13, 2003

How to generate hype as a small company: first, get large.  Then generate hype.  Otherwise, folks might recognize it as plain old snake oil.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Advertising and Public Relations. Either way, it costs money.

Buy a Superbowl add (advertising)


Hire a PR agency to place articles about your company in the NY Times, Wall Street Jornal, etc.

Monday, October 13, 2003

How to generate a hype?

Go to and look for or even older versions of the site (can't remember them). Joel gives a perfect example of "generating a hype" step by step without any substantial amount of money envolved, only hard-work and personal time.

Joel shared his secret with as in the article about "personal voice" where he mentions Ars Digita and its founder for whom Joel owes the idea.

I believe you have to able to provide community with some "free cheese". Besides that people want to be "entertained".

Not easy task to do. Large companies usually take this load out of their shoulders spending megabucks on PR agencies.

I've read James Dyson's autobiography book reciently called "Against the odds", where he points out that no marketing company in the world can properly create a "hype" without detailed understanding the market and loving your product. That's why he says most of those megabucks spent are wasted. You really need to sit with marketing or PR guy/girl yourself and go thru you product and ideas over and other again for weeks, before you come with real ad.

And again, people envolved have to love your product as much as you do. You love your product, do you? ;-)

UK resident
Friday, October 17, 2003

Sorry for typos, they are terrible, I know :-(

UK resident
Friday, October 17, 2003

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