Writing a CFP about my List App project at a not-s...
# present-company
Writing a CFP about my List App project at a not-specifically-future-of-coding conference. I wrote “adding customizability to your apps will empower your users”. Then I thought “that’s not gonna sell it to this conference” so I added “will empower and engage your users.” Then I realized that pretty much captures the problem, do you think? Most companies don’t care about empowering users, just as long as they are engaged (to the money/data vacuum).
"harvesting your users' organs"
Most companies won't care about empowering users until users care about being empowered. Make something people want, etc. So my pitches for now tend to be of the form, "do this and you will be empowered."
☝️ this totally makes sense. I don’t think I have much of a marketing mind, so getting insights like this to set me in a good direction is super helpful
is it that engagement, being the thing they care about, has metrics and levers, it's a studied and defined thing (impressions, eyes, clickthroughs, and the logs to capture it all); empowerment remains vague to us still? hours spend tweaking a template? count of published customisations of a thing? also, being that it's vague, almost anything can be coopted as empowering -- crafting your own bitmoji so you can represent yourself in your true colours to your community of family and friends in group chats while your organs are harvested, is empowering...
engagement, being the thing they care about, has metrics
makes sense. one of the more pessimistic ways to think about this is “if it has metrics, you can present it to VCs to argue for a round of funding and/or to a tech giant to get bought”
(and if i was optimistic about the Present of Coding i wouldn’t be in this slack 😄 )
OTOH, consider: engagement is (at least a proxy measure for) just using the project. And if people aren't using the project, it's not empowering them. So I can't say it's entirely a bad thing...
Targeting engagement, might be part of how plugin ecosystems (and platform network effects) grow around closed products. It feels empowering, till an API gets closed or a your tier 2 business is Sherlocked. Yet it still feels too jaded, hoping companies don’t care from the beginning
Engagement is a trap, that Empowerment frees you from