[Mageia-discuss] Mageia logo proposals and selection

Wolfgang Bornath molch.b at googlemail.com
Mon Oct 18 18:13:08 CEST 2010

2010/10/18 Hoyt Duff <hoytduff at gmail.com>:
> On Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 11:27 AM, Frank Griffin <ftg at roadrunner.com> wrote:
>> The significant costs of trying to be all things to all people,
> This is the biggest danger to any distro.and had, I believe, a
> significant part in Mandriva's struggles. It seems to me that the
> Mageia devs want to get back to their Mandrake roots.

I do not think so, the quality of the product had nothing to do with
Mandriva's problems. In most of Mandriva's problems marketing at least
played a leading role.

First bad marketing:
When Mandrakesoft was a successful startup it had no real marketing
which would influence the development. Then the investors came in and
brought in the real marketing, people of which never heard about Linux
distributions before, so it seemed. They based the wrong management
decisions on bad marketing advices, burning mountains of money with
fruitless attempts in sidetracks of the Linux world. When that led to
the near crash those people were thrown out and Mandrakesoft
propagated a "Back to the roots" strategy as a Linux distributor.
Which was successful enough to carry them out of chapter 11.

Then lack of marketing:
But maybe this experience led them to the other extreme: They started
to ignore the basic rules of marketing. Be present, be visible, make
noise about yourself, make people looking forward to the next news
about your brand, and in consequence make your name/brand a known part
of the computer world. They ignored all this, shut down PR almost
entirely and where they did something in the way of PR it was badly
done because marketing (or the store) did something without notifying
the other departments (remember the instant-on desaster). Or they sold
cheap machines with Mandrakelinux pre-installed without making sure
that this pre-installation was done correctly (as happened with the
deal with Walmart). Or they propagated deals worldwide where the
customer could never benefit from because the hardware was sold in
France only. Or they refused to pay a couple of hundred Euros for
travelling expenses while they could have had an otherwise cost free
roadshow all over Switzerland (courtesy of Jäggi book store chain and
wobo). I can easily fill several pages with such examples.

The Mandriva story is a perfect example of the two extremes: bad
marketing and almost no marketing at all.
But all that was not related to the development and/or other technical
parts of the company.

> BTW, nicely formed argument, Frank.

Agreed, 100% !

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