Emilia is Here!

Emilia Teresa Groganz

Our second daughter Emilia Teresa Groganz was born Friday, September 11th.

After she kept us in suspense for 10 days, we are so happy that she is finally with us.

@Emilia: We love you, you enrich our family! We can’t wait to see you walk, talk and make a lot of crazy things 🙂 . We are thankful for you!

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 😉

Stephan Voigt Provides Business Consulting in Germany

My former appreciated boss at Mindquarry started to offer his business know-how as an independent consultant for software companies in Germany: Stephan Voigt was CEO at Mindquarry and I always enjoyed working with him while being the VP Marketing there.

Stephan offers consulting services such as:

  • interim CEO/COO
  • marketing strategy consulting
  • sales concepts and execution
  • investor relations
  • and more

His focus is not on Open Source software only, but of course he has expertise in that area.

All the best for your business, Stephan!

Progress of Open Source Marketing Consultancy

I am happy to share some exciting news with you about the Open Source marketing consultancy I currently build up:

  • I found a “f*****g awesome” (as Zak put it) company name. Thanks to Zak Greant, Lars Trieloff and Markus Nix for valuable feedback.
  • Luckily, I was able to register the related domain name.
  • European Patent and Trademark Attorney Dr. Christian Reinders helped me register the trademark.
  • Two great people will join the consultancy right from the start. They both are highly experienced when it comes to Open Source marketing and will add their specific expertise to the consultancy’s services portfolio. Their joining means that we will have offices in England and USA from day one.

The corporate Web site will go online mid February with a preliminary simple design. We will announce a logo contest at the day the Web site is up. The winner will receive an iPod touch and $50 for iTunes. Once we have a logo, the site’s design will be adjusted.

We also plan to provide a public forum where we will be happy to answer questions related to Open Source marketing.

As you might already guess: we intend to market the consultancy using the same Open Source marketing techniques which we recommend to and execute for our customers.

Starting Open Source Marketing Consultancy

Due to solid demand, I will officially start my own business offering marketing consulting services to Open Source software creators and contributors in February. Clients will be able to choose from a broad range of marketing services, including strategic as well as operational tasks and social media as well as traditional marketing.

The mission is to help companies and organizations behind Open Source projects become more visible and profitable, hence to boost adoption of Open Source. The only criteria is that a client contributes to Open Source software development, which makes up for the following types of potential customers:

  • Creators: Vendors of Open Source products
  • Contributors: Companies offering proprietary software including Open Source components they contribute to
  • Investors: VCs financing an Open Source venture

The consultancy will be able to help with:

  • Defining an Open Source marketing strategy
  • Open Source communications coaching of management
  • Branding and positioning
  • Community building/maintenance
  • Building/maintaining a partner network crediting Open Source contributions
  • Public relations (printed magazines, blogosphere, …)
  • Collaterals (brochures, business cards, …)
  • Events (e.g. (un-)conferences, partner meetings, …)
  • Investor pitches
  • Managing the contents of a client’s Web site
  • Social media: creating product Screencasts, coaching bloggers, …

One could completely outsource all marketing activities to the consultancy or take it in for specific projects or campaigns only.

I’ll be happy to share my experiences in this Weblog with you along the way and I will continue to provide general Open Source marketing know-how distilled from client projects to the public.

I’d also be happy to hear your advice.