And the Geeks Shall Market

Bob Cramblitt reports on Eric Sink’s talk from Business of Software 2007. To sign up for the BoS 2008, visit

Why did the marketing guy cross the road?  To avoid the geek approaching him.  Or vice versa.

Why would any company want to have geeks involved in marketing?  Or, conversely, why would any geek want to be involved with the marketing wonks, or “clueless weinees” as Erik Sink called them in his Business of Software 2007 presentation.

Sink, the author of the Apress book The Business of Software, says that developers are often involved in marketing whether they know it or not.  If they are involved in deciding what features to build, they are doing marketing.

Geeks have three problems with the marketing role, according to Sink:
(1) Generally, they suck at marketing, but then again, everyone does.
(2) They tend not to be too normal in discriminating between good ideas and bad ideas.
(3) They fall in love with technology for technology’s sake.

Still, having geeks involved in marketing is generally a big plus for both the company and its developers.  The company gets the unique perspective of technical staff, and developers get to play a greater role in the fate of the products they produce.