From the time we entered kindergarten to high school graduation, we were all drilled in the “3 R’s”: reading, writing, and arithmetic. These skills form the foundation of what it means for an adult to be considered properly educated. But we’re now living in an era when computers are far more important than cursive. Despite this, most elementary and secondary schools in the US do not offer so much as a single course in computer programming. This is problematic for both students and the economy as a whole: students fail to gain experience in a vital field with well-paying careers, while companies cannot find enough programmers to meet their workforce needs. The federal government spends $4 billion annually getting computers into schools, compared to just $5 million on computer science education, meaning that 1000 times more money goes to buying computers than it does to ensuring students know how to do something useful with them. In other words, it’s the curriculum not the availability of machines that’s the roadblock.
The importance of developers has been widely recognized. Books like the The New Kingmakers: How Developers Conquered the World and The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business celebrate the role developers play in changing the world.
I love Cindy Alvarez‘s book, Lean Customer Development (full disclosure: I edited that book). Cindy takes Steve Blank’s customer development work and brings it right down to earth, offering strategies for making sure you’ve got customers before you spend “months and millions” developing your product. It’s a very practical book aimed at helping both lean startups and established companies. Read more
Stage 2 of tech startup marketing blog was the do-it-yourself phase. In stage 3, startups find that they need some very specific help to scale their marketing: someone who deeply understands their product and can help them define its personality. Stage 3 as outlined here is informed by a role Mark Lorion, CMO of Apperian, calls the marketing architect, as well as Catherine Juon’s book, Internet Marketing Start to Finish. In the final stage, marketing becomes part of your organization’s central nervous system. Read more
Last week in 2015 content marketing predictions, we discussed the increased use of analytics and how marketers will be held accountable for bottom-line results more than ever before. A related topic, which has the B2B content marketing world abuzz, is the prediction that sales and marketing will merge to form a single, numbers-driven entity: sales has its quotas and marketing its revenue-based, results-oriented KPIs. And like most shotgun weddings, it’s going to be a bit uncomfortable.
It’s not uncommon for several people to shuffle through the CMO role. Why? Are talented CMOs really so rare? Do companies have irrational expectations? Or are other forces at play?