Scoble and the way ahead

Forget Lovemarks. If you want to see the future of marketing just read Robert Scoble and specifically his latest Open Letter to Bill Gates. (For those who’ve not come across him Scoble is a blogger who went to work for Microsoft on the marketing side.)

Here’s the intro, but if you’ve time to read the rest it would be worth it.

Hi Bill. I’ve been thinking about how to make Windows Media cool. You know, cooler than wearing white headphone cords.

Open source the product development.

Yeah, you’re gonna be hearing a lot about “open source this” and “open source that” in 2005. Open source has become a metaphor for things done in public view with public input. Actually, you’re a leader here. Check out Channel 9. It’s the first step along the road to open source marketing. But back to the point.

We have five months to come out with a great new set of music players and get a great marketing campaign going. Why is that? It’s called back to school. If we don’t get something going by June then we lose another generation to the iPod. Do you want to let that happen?

How many companies today would tolerate, much less encourage, this kind of dialogue between an employee and the boss? I don’t know – but I’d bet a few quid a lot more successful companies will be doing so in future.

13 thoughts on “Scoble and the way ahead

  1. Johnnie Moore

    Agreed, Johnnie… or perhaps more like, you agree with me 😉

    Ref. 26th November:

    What Scoble is doing is HUGE.

    I’m guessing (and it’s not an uneducated guess, by the way) that the reason he gets away with it is because somebody far higher up than him is protecting his actions. Maybe not Bill Gates himself, but somebody “way up there”.

    Rock on.


    Agreed, Hugh. I agree with you. I so often do 🙂 If I’m gonna be in an echo chamber, I couldn’t wish for more entertaining company…

  2. gapingvoid

    blogs will be to microsoft what the ipod is to macintosh

    Blogs will be to Microsoft what the iPod is to Macintosh. You heard it here first. Thanks to Johnnie Moore for the gambit. [PS:] More stuff here….

  3. gapingvoid

    blogs will be to microsoft what the ipod is to macintosh

    Blogs will be to Microsoft what the iPod is to Macintosh. You heard it here first. Thanks to Johnnie Moore for the gambit:Forget Lovemarks. If you want to see the future of marketing, just read Robert Scoble, and specifically…

  4. Travis Swicegood

    Couldn’t that post just be a replacement for a focus group? To me, the Microsoft doubter that I am, I’d take that as a way to see what the general thoughts are on open sourcing development. Use a post or two like that to start a buzz about open source MS software, soften the image of the giant by having internal “dialogue”, and make everybody want to bend over for MS.

    I can’t help but be reminded by the closing page of 1984.

  5. Hans Henrik H. Heming

    Hi Johnnie

    I think Mr. Scoble is gone to far this time. The clever employee knows how to bend the rules. But if management each and everytime has to come up with excuses…’ll never last.

    Besides – I don’t think it’s suitable for MSN to have an internal oral war going on on external weblogs…

    My humble opinion.

    Best Regards

    Hans Henrik

  6. Tim

    It’s not dialogue until the other party in the discussion responds. As it stands, it’s just some guy wittering on trying to claim that his company is the leader of open source marketing (whatever that is).

  7. Robert Scoble

    Hans: heh. The problem is figuring out what rules you’re bending!

    Someone far smarter than me (I think it was HP’s CEO) once said: “If you aren’t close to getting fired you aren’t doing anything interesting.”

  8. larry borsato

    It’s not about technology.

    Robert Scoble’s letter to Bill Gates has generated a whole mess of comments on his blog and by other bloggers. Robert wants to make Windows Media cool by open sourcing product development. He thinks that if they don’t get it…

  9. Casey Marshall

    Wow, if ideas like this are taken seriously within Microsoft, I would be duly impressed. Perhaps you could even explain to Bill that Open != Shared :).

  10. stuartd

    Scoble is a clown, a court jester and as such has the extra latitude afforded to satirists: don’t credit him with influence, just relish any perceived entertainment value. Can you imagine an ‘xPod’ designed by *Elton John* – euugh. A Ludacris idea. The iPod was indeed designed by “some geek from apple”, just one who was very good at design, and not by Britney Spears or Janet Jackson.

  11. stuartd

    Hey StuartD, have you read my post on “The Happy Troll” yet? 😉



    re: happy troll

    I have read it now.

    “his manners may be somewhat lacking, his attitude is a bit weird, ” – well, if you say so – “the actual merits of his argument are .. valid, relevant and well thought out” – why, thank you for the compliment!

    BTW I dind’t find it funny, so your Bwaha was kinda wasted. I must have a deficient sense of humour, or maybe I don’t take myself as seriously as you do!

    Happy Holidays



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