A few weeks ago @damonedwards wrote a blog post titled “DevOps is not a technology problem. DevOps is a business problem” to which I’d like to follow up and ponder upon how there might be a marketing issue that also needs addressing. During Citcon, I took part in a very interesting session called “Overcoming Organisational Defensiveness” that mostly revolved around difficulties that people were having trying to bring Agile techniques to their organization. Someone commented that part of the problem was the word itself that scared people away and wished we could just get over it and do it without having to call it Agile. In a similar way I’m hearing more and more complaints from people that claim they’ve been doing Devops for years without the need for what they feel is just a buzzwordy hyped term. In the beginning I shared some of that concern the same way that I was dubious about all the buzz around Agile, but having learned a few things about marketing and product management to run my own startup I came to realize something:
labels are necessary if you want to cross the chasm
The same concept was also brought up by Jeffrey Fredrick in reply to the comment on Agile during the Citcon session that I mentioned earlier. It is a simple marketing problem, and while I am always suspicious and mostly annoyed by anything revolving around marketing it is a strong point that made a lot of sense to me. It goes as follows:
In Geoffrey Moore’s book, Crossing the Chasm is closely related to the technology adoption lifecycle where five main segments are recognized; innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. According to Moore, the marketer should focus on one group of customers at a time, using each group as a base for marketing to the next group. The most difficult step is making the transition between visionaries (early adopters) and pragmatists (early majority). This is the chasm that he refers to. If a successful firm can create a bandwagon effect in which enough momentum builds, then the product becomes a de facto standard.
Innovators and early adopters are risk tolerant and embrace change as a chance to gain an advantage on the market, while everybody else starting from the early majority is risk averse and will only adopt something if enough momentum builds and a bandwagon effect is created.
Therefore, being able to identify a set of good practices and tools with a word like Devops is a necessity if we want to hope for larger adoption in the industry.
Hi, my name is Spike Morelli and this is my thinking lab. Over the past 13 years of career in the tech industry I've been a developer, a system engineer, a devops person, a manager and a startup owner. I've taken the best from each experience and brought it into the next, innovating and focusing on delivering value. I have a passion for sociology and communication, but above all I care about making people happy, it's incredibly rewarding and happy folks do the best work.
Most of us wouldn't have done what we have done if we didn't have people around us to learn from, their experiences is what helped us grow, their passion our fuel. If that's also your experience let's make that circle bigger, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter