Initmarketing is now Age of Peers

Initmarketing rebranded, now Age of PeersWe have re-branded Initmarketing as Age of Peers, to reflect our new focus on combining the fields of Marketing, Community Development and Media Relations for organizations in Open Source into a single practice.

We are not only extending our services, but we are also enhancing our team of talented and skilled professionals. Our partners have worked with enterprises including Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP, as well as successful startups, and free- and open-source software foundations and organizations such as Mozilla, Wikimedia and GNOME.

Our new Website has launched today with almost 200 pages and provides exhaustive information on our service  portfolio, our team as well as some great customer case studies.

Along with the re-brand, I have turned my sole proprietorship into a German limited liability company.

Here’s the website, and please let me know your thoughts:

Terri Molini, Former Open Source PR Manager at Sun, Joins Initmarketing

I am extremely happy to welcome Terri Molini on board of the Initmarketing team. She can certainly add a lot of value to Initmarketing’s Open Source corporate communications services, given her vast experience. Most notably, Terri was 13 years with Sun Microsystems where she lead all world-wide PR efforts related to Open Source. In July 2009, Terri launched the Open Source for America coalition. Good to have you on board Terri, this will be fun!

Initmarketing Expands in France: Annie Blandel Joins Our Team

Annie BlandelI am very happy to welcome Annie Blandel on board. She lives in Southern France and is a senior-level marketing manager with a bunch of experience and expertise.

Entrepreneurship, recognizing and driving forward innovative new products and services, and powering international expansion, have been the cornerstones of Annie’s 25 year career in technology marketing. She has successfully delivered international marketing and business development campaigns for numerous established leaders in their fields, including Nortel, Intel, Cisco, HP.

She is furthermore a professor in Marketing for Master’s in IT & Project Management at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis (France).

Read more about Annie on the Initmarkteing team page.

Bienvenue Annie!

Alexander Kempkens Joins Initmarketing

akempkens_96x96I am particularly proud to welcome Alexander Kempkens on board of the Initmarketing team. Starting in 2004 as a developer for the Mambo project he co-founded the Joomla CMS in 2005. Ever since he is working for the Joomla project as community manager and was the responsible of marketing/communications and events coordinator. In addition to that, Alex has recently finished his studies in International Management. Hence, he is one of the very rare people who have combined expertise in marketing, community development, software programming and business management with experience in the Open Source domain.

The Next Level at InitMarketing: Staff and Partnership

It’s been very quiet on my blog lately due to the fact that I was very busy with working for InitMarketing customers and in parallel brought InitMarketing to the next level.

InitMarketing is now 15 months old and keeps growing at a steady pace, not too fast and not too slow. I have recently added four more customer references to our Web site: IKS Project, OXID eSales, Jahia, todoyu.

My workload grew up to a point where I realized that I should do my first hire. Effective May 1st, a person in the U.S. started to work full time for InitMarketing. He is currently in probation and things look good. It’s a great relief for me to be able to transfer undone tasks at the end of my work day to the U.S. and receive finished deliverables when I start again my next work day. Of course, he’ll gradually start to manage customer projects himself and will also do sales to expand our customer base in the USA.

Ultimately, I can spend more time with my family now, especially with my little daughter. As much as I enjoy working for my customers and building InitMarketing, I don’t want to miss out on actively experiencing my daughter’s childhood.

Right from the start, I had a very good feeling concerning InitMarketing. I quickly realized from the feedback I got that I focused on the right niche at the right time. Today, things go together well once more. There are two people wthin InitMarketing who are interested in a partnership. We are currently investigating in setting up either a company with limited liability (GmbH) or a private stock company (AG) in Germany. The latter would better fit with the Open Source spirit of InitMarketing, where “credit where credits are due” would translate into “allot shares where shares are due”.

We’ll have our second child around August/September, hence I am happy to see today that InitMarketing is doing well; that others are happy to take responsibility and build the business together with me; that people are proud to work full time for InitMarketing; that the team of freelancers within InitMarketing is highly professional and knowledgeable. This all gives me the ability to support my family in a few months without sacrificing the quality of marketing services that InitMarketing customers expect.

Work-life balance at its best – but you’ll have to work hard to achieve it 😉

Zak Greant and Dave Neary Join InitMarketing

I am very happy to welcome two great additions to the InitMarketing team:

zak_greant_96pxZak Greant is a good friend of mine, hence I am particularly happy to have him on board. Zak has solid experience building and managing online communities, developing electronic frontier business strategies and working with Free Software and Open Source licenses. For example, he had worked as MySQL’s community advocate and for the Mozilla Foundation.

dave_neary_96pxI only recently met Dave Neary at OSBC and was deeply impressed by his understanding of the dynamics of consensus-based communities, and intimate knowledge of the concerns of businesses engaging with free software projects. Dave has served three terms as a member of the board of directors of the GNOME Foundation (2005 – 07) and was a developer and release manager of the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) from 1999 until 2006.

Video Interview with Bryan Kirschner, Microsoft's Director of Open Source Strategy

Now playing on is a video interview with Bryan, who is Director of Open Source Strategy at Microsoft. I very much respect Bryan as a person and for what he says in the interview. His answers show that he is truly committed and understands the benefits well. Some excerpts:

So it’s really a noticeable trend where open source is clearly a part of the data centre in the IT environment. There are Microsoft technologies that are clearly a part of this.

The trend in the overall market, what we see and hear, all points to pragmatic, case-by-case evaluation of what meets customer needs, how do you combine things in interesting ways, and if you believe that open source has value, that shouldn’t really surprise you, that should just make sense.

Above video only shows the highlights. You can also watch or read the full interview with Bryan.