Developers are more than just influencers inside the enterprise — they’re now buyers, too. That’s a huge shift from before, when only IT and other departments had that kind of purchasing power. (It’s not just a Silicon Valley thing, either, as every company becomes a software company.)
So what’s different then about selling and marketing to developers?
One key is open source. But offering products and services built on top of open source brings up a whole slew of other questions: What are viable business models, how do you monetize? Especially since (as Peter Levine has argued before) there will never be another Red Hat a.k.a. a successful “open core” business model.
a16z partners Levine and Martin Casado offer their observations and advice about selling to developers and open source business models in this episode of the podcast. The answers affect everything from sales — yes, you still need sales even when selling to developers! — to product management (what features to withhold, who builds them) and go to market plan.