I think the projects that have been granted so far are a big step forward for Sia. However, I think most of the products that are being built are going to struggle when it comes to marketing. Most developers unfortunately are not also marketing experts. Even if the engineer building the app is fantastic and the app itself is extremely useful - without the right marketing the grant effort will go to waste.
I think the Sia team should either hire a marketing expert or hire an agency and put a minimum of $X amount of dollars towards marketing the tool that was built through the grant for any grant that is customer facing. This should NOT be marketing dollars given to the engineer who built the project. Those dollars should be spent hiring influencers, building up social media pages, running traditional Ads, creating forum communities, etc. to get the product that was just built through the grant moving in the right direction. Then there should also be a mandatory training from the marketing expert to teach the Grant builder (engineer) how to maintain this same level of marketing going forward for when the grant is over. Without this I think most projects will be short lived.
Eh, I understand this but I kind of disagree. I may be an engineer, but I also have enough experience with the other roles that I would hire someone to do similar via a freelance job regardless.
My marketing will also be heavily community-focused first anyways rather than traditional, and I have a broad plan for it. The one thing I could see is the foundation doing hiring research to find recommended people/agencies for grant marketing budgets to be spent on.
The foundation, of all communication I have had, is for the most part being hands-off in terms of project management or micromanaging things.
And I actually prefer that since it ensures I can bring the vision I have to life and deliver results, without having to justify every decision I make.
The issue though is that each developer from a grant can outsource their marketing to a freelancer but this does not necessarily result in a good solution or a cost effective marketing solution. The reality is most developers will build a great product, not understand how to market it, and $ millions of dollars of great development grant work will be unutilized. If marketing money is handed to the developer they will likely blow $ thousands very fast and not build up a stable, sustainable, user base. Then the $50k or $100k the Foundation just invested in the grant - goes to waste. A better solution is for the Sia Foundation to ensure they have someone in house who is marketing expert that can be involved in each of the grant projects to ensure that when the application is completed and ready to use that it is made available to the public quickly and in a cost effective manner. Then the marketing resource with the Foundation can give a training and knowledge transfer to the developer to sustain and grow the existing user base.
This in house marketing resource will also be learning new knowledge and marketing practices that can be passed onto the next grant endeavor. This technique will make the marketing for each grant more successful, optimized, and cost effective each time around.
These concepts may not apply to already established businesses that are applying for grants who may already have a userbase and marketing teams in place.
I can agree to an extent about having a marketing resource in-house, though I reject the idea that in my case, I will
blow through a lot of money and not get marketing done properly.