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Communities Are Driving Companies

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I am fascinated by the ability how communities drive companies. Or how they can propel companies. Today I am speaking at a conference for SugarCRM (an open source CRM vendor) and the keynote was given by a chap that really gets it.

Paul Greenberg, of the 56 Group gave a great presentation on the power of viral marketing, the need for authenticity, and how the powerful customer collaboration can be. He used the example of how the user community reworked the video game Halo 2 to create CounterStrike. Rather than try to fight the gamers who hacked/modded their software, Valve the maker of Halo, encouraged their mods, bought the product and hired the team to make future Valve products.

He also gave a great example of how communities/constitutes/users will crucify you if you don't work with them and/or address their needs. This video is a commentary on Sony Playstation 3 called "How to Kill a Brand" which outlines the folly of their PS3 release (viewed over 2 million times). It makes me wonder what would be make a good open source viral video...

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