A Year in Retrospect: InitMarketing in 2008

2008 was an exciting and very successful year.

I officially started my own business in February: InitMarketing, the open source marketing company. Ever since then, the InitMarketing customer base keeps growing. As of today, there are 15 paying customers including open source software vendors and associations, ranging from content management systems, e-shops to Linux distributions, from mega corporations to small start-ups. Some of them are in the FOSS business for several years, others recently started or even open sourced their formerly proprietary product. InitMarketing helped them with marketing strategy definition, community building, public relations, blog coaching, event management, creating product brochures, writing case studies and white papers and much more.

Revenues for 2008 clearly exceeded my expectations. We have been contracted for project-specific work as well as on a retainer basis. A good part of that money went to InitMarketing’s team members who have done an excellent job helping out with their special expertise on customer projects.

I am particularly proud of InitMarketing.tv, because it is first of all a lot of fun to record the video interviews about Open Source marketing. Second, the videos provide real value to those who watch them much in the spirit of Open Source communites where expertise is being shared happily. Furthermore, video recording and editing has turned into a passion and I very much enjoy extending my prosumer skills.

The goals for InitMarketing in 2009 are to double our revenues, but given the world-wide economic downturn, I am clueless if we can make it. Honestly, I wish that those claims about Open Source software doing better during a recession turn out to be true. So far, I don’t have any reasons to not believe that this self-fullilling prophecy will fullfill itself.

There are positive signs: none of our customers face any economic problems yet. Some of them even performed better than projected during the second half of 2008 … but – you know – only the paranoid survive.

Given the overall economic climate and the general bad financial situation of the U.S., I don’t want to be overly optimistic. Nevertheless, the advantages of open source software over proprietary software in times of tight budgets are obvious. The only real problem are completely cut-down budgets…

Anyway, I wish you all a 2009 that can only become better than expected, right?

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