Ubuntu in Business
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How not to promote a product
Imagine going into a guitar shop, with a distinct chance of actually buying a guitar, and not being allowed to try one out.
Imagine a new restaurant coming to your neighbourhood, and staging an open day, but not offering visitors any tasty samples.
Imagine signing up for golf lessons only to learn that you never get to hold a golf club, but only get to hear lectures.
Imagine the Geneva Motor Show crammed into a small noisy nightclub on Brick Lane, with no cars to inspect, but only a series of eight well rehearsed TV adverts to watch.
Now you have some idea of what Canonical did with “Ubuntu in Business” on Tuesday 13 July 2010. Too much noise and too much hype, little or no hands-on and not much chance to “ask an expert”. It was a brilliant idea done spectacularly badly.
I have fumbled with Ubuntu Server, with Ubuntu Desktop and with Unbuntu Notebook. And my business continues to run PCs using XP.
If anybody would like to run a “Linux Open Day” in a proper conference centre, with proper sessions, in proper breakout rooms (without loud music) and provide me with a bit of a hands-on experience and the odd expert to tell me where I’m going wrong with my own Ubuntu experiments, then please let me know.
And if Canonical are doing a debrief after “Ubuntu in Business” . . .
(a) please let them know about this blogpost! Thanks!
(b) and if you actually work at Canonical, can I ask – have you ever been into an Apple Store? How does that compare to your event? How can you promote something like Ubuntu without offering a hands-on experience?
In my experience, switching from Windows to Linux is like switching from a knife and fork to chopsticks. They both do the same job, and they both work perfectly well. But they are different! The trick in mastering chopsticks is to actually have an example to work with. Watching other people do it does not really help. Doing it yourself with no help is tough. Having an experienced person show you how (and actually putting the tools in your hands, not in theirs) can make all the difference. At this event, Canonical were pushing on an open door, and what amazed me was their clownish disconnect with genuine, potential users.
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Posted on 13 Jul 2010 by Proactive Paul