Dave Winer just released a great post concerning how the market for software products, and the marketing of them, has changed.
One of the things he said is this:
“But none of that means that I can’t find enough users for my aggregator, and you for yours, to be able to continue development and influence the market, because we don’t have to convince the editors of PC Mag and PC Week that our products matter. When the big dinosaurs, Microsoft, Lotus and Ashton-Tate, and later Borland, wanted our market, the publications had little choice but to give it to them. Now I am a publication myself. I can communicate directly with users. That changes everything.“
This suggests two interesting things to me.
1) Perhaps the time has come when QUALITY of product will matter more than STRATEGY. I’m not sure the time has come for this yet, as history has clearly shown that strategy can trump quality (think MAC vs PC). But maybe for the first time a quality product will be able to SURVIVE and not die off the way many have in the past (think ATARI computers). Part of the reason for this is #2.
2) Distribution Channels no longer mean the difference between success and failure. Until the last 24 months or so, to get your product into the hands of consumers you HAD to have a distribution deal (think Quickbooks in BestBuy). Using the web, you don’t need that anymore – 2ndSite is proof of that.