New Era for SocialEngine

Hello Everyone.

It is with great pleasure and excitement to introduce myself, James Clark, and my business partner Jason Cormier to the SocialEngine community. Recently our digital marketing agency Room 214  acquired SocialEngine, you can read the official news release here.

I want to briefly cover some initial thoughts, viewpoints and potentially answer any questions you may have. We are honored to be stewarding a company with such a large and committed developer community.
Product Support
First and foremost, we are 100 percent committed to both the SocialEngine PHP and SocialEngine Cloud product offerings. We believe this is a unique differentiator and serves our current and potential customers well.
Our Background

Jason and I have run Room 214 for the past nine years. We have extensive experience in digital and social marketing in addition to having supported a development team focused on custom jobs such as Facebook applications, mobile websites and campaign microsites. Having executed large digital and social campaigns we have a unique insight into what is needed to run successful communities online. SocialEngine came into our sights when we were looking for community platforms we could establish for our clients outside of Facebook. It was meant to be.

Systems Thinkers

We believe an organization can grow only as fast its systems to can handle it. Being non-developers ourselves, we knew it would be important to work within a framework our developers could trust, and in turn we could understand their challenges and collaboration needs. In 2010 we received our ScrumMaster certification from Rally Software. We love the agile manifesto:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

  • Working software over comprehensive documentation

  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

  • Responding to change over following a plan

Transparency

From both a business and a development perspective we hope to bring as much transparency to SocialEngine as possible. We believe in building businesses for the long haul, so everything we do will be under the premise we are going to run the business for a long time. As I believe Jason Fried says, “don’t build an exist strategy, build a commitment strategy.”

Open Book Management (OBM)

This is really an internal initiative, but we think it matters to everyone associated with the company as you can be assured we are running a business which puts humans before financials. As an OBM company we believe:

Everyone is:

  • an expert at running the business

  • important

  • responsible for financial success

  • excited when we are busy

It gets done by:

  • giving people with the knowledge to make things better, the information to make things better

  • getting more people thinking about the problems

  • believing our people and our community are the greatest assets we have

  • sharing in the success of the business

In case you’re interested, more information on OBM can found at: www.ZingTrain.com or www.GreatGame.com

Customer Development

We are inspired by Steve Blank’s Customer Development process highlighted in his book The Four Steps to the Epiphany which spawned the Lean Startup movement. Our goal is to incorporate your wants and needs into the product as much as possible. We are really looking forward to opening up the dialogue and providing insights into our development roadmap.

Badasses

We want to help create badasses out of all of our customers. This is a great video from Kathy Sierra about creating badasses – it’s an hour so refill your cup before watching (credit matthew). This was shared with us by Mike Feineman, now a developer at SocialEngine. It’s cool to know guys like Mike are going to play a big part in the future of SocialEngine.

Since many of you are looking to build and grow your own businesses on SocialEngine, we want to help you understand what great examples of excelling on SocialEngine look like, and provide insights into how to get there. We are not opposed to answering any question that may help make you a badass. We also look forward to creating some badass content to help guide and open up new services to better support your needs.

Moving Forward

If there is anything we can do for you, or if you have thoughts about where the product can be taken please let us know in the comments below. I can tell you that one thing we are actively doing now is combing through the archives of support tickets and feature requests.

If you want to contact either of us directly, we’re available at: james@socialengine.com or jason@socialengine.com.

James Clark
Co-President and CEO of SocialEngine

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