As much as I like Adobe Flex 2, I did not see a real strong marketing push of this product from Adobe. I wrote one blog , and another , and some other bloggers also expressed similar concerns . I clearly see a vibrant community of Flex developers, but this is not the Ruby language, which is not backed up by any serious software vendor yet. Flex has Adobe and I ‘d like to see some real promotion there. I had a feeling that I am a part of a group of people who received a really cool tool, and kept telling how good it was…to each other.
Apparently it ‘s better than I thought: Adobe team has published the blog describing their Flex marketing efforts in details. But absolute numbers mentioned in this blog do not tell much as I am not marketing professional. All I have is a gut feeling that it ‘s not enough. This blog states that Flex-Ruby SDK is in the works. This can ‘t be serious. Ruby has a tiny footprint in corporate IT. Java and only Java is the target (ColdFusion folks, sorry). I ‘ve been presenting with my partner on Flex to more than a hundred Java developers in New York last month – most of them did not know what Flex was and why they should even considered it.
Adobe should arrange a series of lunch-and-learn Flex-intro sessions in major corporations, but the trick is that these sessions should be conducted not by Flex own evangelists, but by Java developers well known in their communities. Obviously, these should be Java developers who already appreciate the benefits of using Flex 2 as a the front end of Java Web applications.
Offer free Flex licenses for raffling off at Java Users groups. I ‘m running Princeton JUG , and raffling off one license on Java IDE called IntelliJIDEA on each monthly meeting, plus books, plus t-shirts… Send some free stuff to JUGs.
They mention some university-focused projects. Here ‘s how I see a university-focused project. Adobe hooks up with the Air Force and hires a hundred choppers. Each of them takes a load of Flex 2 CDs with ABSOLUTELY FREE academic licenses. These choppers are flying methodically over campuses of each university and community college and carefully dropping the cargo off on parachutes. At the same time Adobe marketing professionals take University professors out to dinners explaining the benefits of teaching Flex . Now we are talking! Now we can call it a University-focused project!
Building a community and winning the mindshare is really important. Let ‘s hope that this process will translate into something more visible.
I do not beleive in Ajax, but I wish Adobe to have the same impact on the industry a year from now as Ajax champions today.
Update: On October 16 Adobe has hired a new senior VP of corporate marketing . Hope this will help.