[Foundation] thoughts from another commercial player

Don Bergal /EXC/NOA don.bergal at antepo.com
Thu Jul 10 10:44:48 CDT 2003

I felt it was time to bring the new perspective of another commercial player
in the community to the debate on the name change.

As a marketer, and as an executive for a software developer that has no
relationship or alliance with JINC whatsoever, I believe that the proposed
change is based on misguided assumptions and represents a serious mistake
that would take years (if ever) for the community to recover from.

Two fundamental arguments, presented as facts, appearing in the proposal and
in subsequent posts are absolutely incorrect.   First, I can tell you that
Antepo does not share the opinion of the proposal:

    "The Jabber brand will never be acceptable to the commercial developer
marketplace...Many companies are ... unwilling     to use the term Jabber".

The fact is that the Jabber community - however you measure it (standards
traction, market awareness, development participation, commercial
adoption) - has tremendous momentum today.  Independent commercial
developers absolutely benefit from the association with the community, and
the overlap of the name with Jabber, Inc.  has not presented any serious
issues for Antepo in terms of sales, marketing, or corporate identity.
Losing the ability to connect with the many aspects of the Jabber movement,
through use of a name with universal awareness, would hurt, not help, a
commercial developer.   As an alternative player, I would much rather be a
member of a well known thriving marketplace and differentiate based on real
software advantages, than to eliminate the critical mass that that the name
brings as means of hiding from competition.   If one objective is truly to
foster a healthy alternative commercial sector in Jabber oriented
technology, the name change is a terrible mistake.

The proposal to transfer the Jabber trademark from JINC to the JSF has not
had much visibility in recent months, and its progress appears to be
stalled.   I suggest that an action far more beneficial to healthy
competition is to fully execute on that proposal and promote more
association with the name Jabber - not less.   What can be done to
accelerate this?

Secondly, there have been many mis-informed statements about the true cost
of executing the name change.    How much would it cost to re-establish the
goodwill and market awareness currently enjoyed by the name "Jabber"?    Not
millions, but *tens of millions* of dollars.    As an internet advertiser
who tracks the results, I know that the brand "Jabber" is increasing its
reach with thousands views every day.   What could replace it now?    It
would take two years or more, and untold millions of advertising and PR
(that the JSF does not have) to recreate the word-of-mouth on the 'net that
Jabber, in all senses of the word has fostered.

Last year's bestselling book "The Tipping Factor" documented social
phenomena that spiral up and influence the world in ways far beyond rational
expectations or resources applied to them.    I submit that Jabber has
"tipped", or is on the verge of it.    Now is not the time to blink!
Don Bergal
Vice-President, Business Development

Antepo, Inc.  (www.antepo.com)
mobile 646-251-4499
direct 720 482 7900
fax 805-926-3569
don.bergal at antepo.com

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