Μια ακόμη open επιστολή προς τον (Kill) Bill Gates.
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?
So, here's my idea:
1) Start a weblog. NOW. Get the person who runs the team to start a blog. NOW. Or fire him/her. I'm serious. Make it as cool as the King Kong blog. Put EVERYTHING up on that blog. Videotape every meeting. Every design session. Write something every day.
2) Get a couple of OEMs on board with this project. That's no easy feat, but do whatever it takes to get them on board by the end of January.
3) Pay whatever big money it'll take to get stars like Elton John, Ludacris, Eminem, Shania Twain to work on designing an entirely new player from the ground up. Get the OEM's to listen to the advice from this small set of folks -- or hire your own designers and make your own prototypes.
4) Get the blogosphere involved. Take advice from the leading podcasters. Adam Curry, Dave Winer, Dawn and Drew, Carl Franklin, Doug Kaye, etc. Make sure that at least five ideas from the online crew makes it into the product.
5) Finish the product's design by March 1. Why then? Cause it takes three months to build and stuff the channel. What will doing that take? Getting ALL EXECUTIVE RED TAPE OUT OF THE WAY NOW. This thing would need to be built even faster than MSN Toolbar Suite (which was built in six months). If you miss the back-to-school season (must be on the shelf by August 1) you'll really blow the whole thing.
6) While the product teams are developing this new player, develop a marketing campaign around the design and development of it. We got the Halo 2 teams on TV. Why not the music stars designing a new player? Heck, sit down with Donald Trump and figure out how to get the Apprentice involved. Goals for the marketing campaign? Build a cultural movement. Demonstrate that some geek in Redmond didn't design this thing, but Eminem did. Ludacris did. The podcasters did.
7) Get the first ones in the hands of the bloggers and podcasters. #1 on the list? Engadget and Gizmodo.
OK, to be fair, this probably would require some cash. It might require losing money for the first year. It might, gasp, never be profitable. But it would be a big bet. It would be bold. And it would make the race for the portable music market interesting again.
Today it is not. Even I want an iPod.
Give me something else to want.
What do you all think?