Software is adopted not sold in the year, 2020.
If you work in dev rel, you work on adoption and adoption requires a different way of thinking.
As the funnel is to conversion, the orbit is to adoption.
Identify your developers with the highest gravity and make a plan for extending their love and reach even further.
Developers have enormous power to choose the tools that they work with from amongst a vast amount of proprietary and open source options.
Developers are drawn to tools that do a difficult job well that have great documentation, complete SDKs and very importantly have a welcoming and knowledgeable community.
Developers adopt software first, and often long before they buy it.
Happens slowly over time.
It can take a developer months to truly adopt new technology.
People expect to get value out of a product, out of new technology for a long time before they actually go and buy it.
Discovery happens with word of mouth and community is really the engine at the centre of all this.
Providing both resources for people to learn how to adopt the thing.
DevRels work on adoption, we also work closely with marketing and sales teams who are a lot more established.
And as a result -- DevRels are forced to think about adoption with that 122-year-old lens, the funnel.
And this leads to problems.
Applied to adoption, the funnel turns into a downward spiral.
Why is it so painful?
From a meet-up even a really successful one, the number of leads that you can say you got is low.
Could be because you didn’t feel comfortable making every attendee give you their email address just to get in the door.
You don’t feel like leads are the right way to judge the success of a meet-up.
These awkward questions come from the funnel mentality, so they’re going to be hard to answer by people like us who work on adoption.
The Orbit Model is an alternative to the funnel that's designed specifically for community-driven adoption.
The goal of the funnel is conversion but the goal of the Orbit is adoption.
The Orbit Model helps you explain what you’re actually trying to do as a dev rel.
Helps you identify and prioritize the developers who should be working with.
“Who’s in my community, and who matters?”
Help you measure and communicate your impact.
Gravity equals love x reach.
Everyone in your community has some amount of gravity, some ability to attract others.
And the gravity that that person has is a product of two things, love and reach.
Love is their love for what you do.
Part of the thrive
Reach is a measure of how well they can help spread love.
Respected by peers
Passion for teaching
Reserved for ambassadors.
Communicate with them via one-on-one, email, even WhatsApp or texting or DMs on Twitter and Slack
Don’t need many of them, but because each Ambassador counts for quite a bit like their own little community because of the love and the reach that they have.
Folks are passionate about our technology.
Can easily explain what it does and how to use it.
Are connected to some kind of work community or local community.
Might not have the love or the reach of the ambassadors, but can do so, someday.
Folks who have some kind of working integration. some kind of sustained activity.
Most customers fall into this level, and there can be thousands of them.
Helps drive adoption for the community,
Find the ones that can be promoted to fans and learn how to motivate them.
Folks who have read our blog posts watched our talks, kick the tires with one of our sample apps or just followed us on Twitter.
“At some point in the future, many of these observers might need our technology for something.”