Pushing 1994 Hot Buttons

I was on a sales call in the UK recently, where we had a telling interchange with a prospective customer (PC). It went something like this.

PC: “So tell me what problems other publishers are solving with MarkLogic?”

ML: We described how our customers repurpose content, build custom publishing systems, integrate content, deliver content through multiple channels, and perform powerful search and discovery.

PC: “Well, you’ve pushed all my hot buttons … “

ML: “Super”

PC: “… as of 1994.”

ML: “Ugh.”

PC: “But, then again, I suppose you can actually do these things now.”

ML: “Indeed.”

Is there anything wrong with this interchange? In my mind, no. So often in technology vision gets way ahead of the ability to implement it. Smalltalk had a virtual machine for a decade; it took Java made it ubiquitous. AI and data mining technologies have existed for years; it took decades for data warehouses of clean data to make them useful.

Yes, the XML vision has been around for 10 years. But only now can customers actually do many of the things with their XML content that they envisioned years ago when they set out of their XML journey.

I often say that we sell to disenchanted visionaries: people who set out on a XML vision years ago, people who made a a big investment creating XML markup only to find that the tools (e.g., ECM, RDBMS) weren’t there to deliver on their vision. No wide receiver ran out under the Hail Mary pass.

Then along comes MarkLogic and we do precisely that. It’s one reason our User Conferences are so incredibly positive in tone. Put in a phrase: we let you do what you thought you could do when you set out to use XML in the first place.

(Don’t worry, this won’t replace “Unlock Content” as our official tagline any time soon.)

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