Charting a New Direction: Why the CEO Matters More than the Developer

Click here to watch Charting a New Direction: Why the CEO Matters More than the Developer.

To effectively compete with commercial content management systems, Drupal needs to start moving in a new direction. This is a direction towards the marketing department and away from the IT department.

Features that excite developers and have an immediate impact on their jobs don't have the same impact to the people who write the checks. The CEO doesn't care about content modeling or workflow -- she cares about conversions. She cares about the bottom line. If you want to talk to her about some next technical feature that makes it the right CMS for the organization, then you better end that conversation with "...and here's how this is going to make us more money."

Open-source content management in general is developer-centric. But the commercial content management market is moving away from developers. Features that have to do with building sites have given way to features that help market content -- features that result in more conversions and more money on the bottom line.

Stop thinking about content modeling. Start thinking about A/B testing.

Stop thinking about APIs. Start thinking about marketing automation.

Stop thinking about developers. Start thinking about marketers.

Stop thinking about yourself. Start thinking about the guy holding the checkbook.

Schedule info
Time slot: 
Thursday, May 23 - 10:45am-11:45am
OR 203 - Palantir
Session Info
Business + Strategy
Experience level: 


I would be interested to hear you speak to how you plan to get developers to work on these features.

From my personal experience I would say there is a far bigger shortage of excited and engaged developers than marketing executives involved in Drupal right now.

whoo-hoo! interesting and on-point. i'm going! thanks. - chris thompson ucla library

There are three layers of conversation at organizations.

  1. Feature Level: cared about by those implementing code/content/sales.
  2. Project Level: cared about by those managing many things and not caring about the details.
  3. Market Level: cared about by those putting the server/product/business into the marketing against alternatives.

If you speak at the wrong level you will bore or confuse your audience.

Brilliant points Deane!
Thank you so much for delivering some strong and much needed medicine.
Your talk has injected a tripple shot of espresso into an ongoing conversation. Don't be surprised if I try to drag you into that conversation at some point in the near future! ;-)