The Social System: Joe Curry Explains Why Success Revolves Around An Open Strategy
To learn about Spredfast’s open platform philosophy we’ve reached out to the team leading the charge. Let's mine their experience and learn the advantage and challenge of an open strategy.
First up, we'll hear from Joe Curry, one of the lead architects of Spredfast’s ecosystem of partners. His current focus is to connect customers to the benefits offered from Spredfast's network of partners.
As part of the Business Development team, Joe focuses on aligning ecosystem and social network partners with Spredfast’s open platform strategy. Building long-term relationships with new & existing partners keeps Joe on the road quite a bit. However, on the weekends you’ll find him working on his golf game or bringing a taste of home (Louisiana) to Austin with savory cajun cookouts.
Location? Austin, TX
Current favorite partner? Don’t do that to me.
One word that best describes Spredfast? Focused
Favorite reason to work at Spredfast? Besides free Whole Foods for lunch every day, I would definitely say our Business Development team. They’re very driven and exceptionally brilliant.
Hey Joe, let's start off simple. What is an open strategy?
An open strategy is the idea of collaborating with technology partners to connect our core product to platforms that add additional value. When customers connect the technologies within their marketing stack, they’re able to run lean while retaining deep functionality in each core solution.
Social, digital, & enterprise systems are most valuable when customers have a unified data source to work from, regardless of where they sit in their organizations.
Alternatively, in a closed system, innovation stalls. Thinking big becomes more difficult since you’re not able to adapt to changing organizational priorities and market trends in time to capture value.
Spredfast believes in an open strategy, but when you speak with people out in the market, does that philosophy resonate?
Absolutely. When I’m with customers, partners, and social platforms, I don’t even bring it up. It’s clear in nearly every conversation—the more open we are, the better. They appreciate that we’re open from both strategic (we will) and technical (we can) perspectives.
The market has been overwhelmingly apparent that the ‘one-stop shop’ is subpar. Let me put it this way, people don’t reach for a Swiss army knife to cut their steak. There’s a superior product to solve each unique challenge and customers desire the best-in-class, not a half-baked bundle.
In addition, our customers demand we integrate with the software they already know and love. So collaborating with our ecosystem has increased the footprint of functionality they have access to. This open flow of creativity and data between products has been a leading factor in our joint success with partners.
How does the open mindset enable customers to stay current with specific market trends?
Technology changes in social faster than nearly any other market. Since we’re technically able to tie into so many other systems, our customers are able to quickly adapt. It helps them stay innovative as the market moves at a blistering pace.
And we don’t see it slowing anytime soon. In order to capture the value in each wave, we must have a mindset in place where we can take advantage of the trends as they unfold.
Social marketers have an insatiable appetite for connecting the tools they favor. With all the useful tools and tech available, how do you choose what to connect into Spredfast’s platform?
We know with all the various social, digital, and enterprise technologies out there, it’s an enormous challenge to cover all of them. Our integrations team works at a lightning pace to keep current with the connections our customers want most.
When it comes to our own products, we ship code daily with more developers than anyone else in our industry. In fact, we have some big announcements soon that will highlight our latest projects and integrations.
It’s easy to stay focused on your own technology. When did Spredfast begin to look outside their walls? Where did the idea of being open start?
Even when I was interviewing pre-Mass Relevance, pre-Shoutlet, the executive team was very clear on this open concept being a part of our strategy. They understood it’s too risky to build the company and platform any other way.
Absolutely. Would you want to make your technology investment with someone that claims to solve every problem that exists or ever will exist?
I think one of the major mistakes that software companies make is trying to be everything to everyone because it looks great on an RFP. Anyone that has been successful in the software business will tell you the same thing. Web...Email...Social...you can’t expect to build every feature of the week. We think it’s best to focus on the core and be best in class.
What’s your favorite example of the open strategy winning in tech?
It may be the obvious choice, but it has to be the internet. What began as an open exchange between research teams matured into the most successful communication platform we’ve ever known. This open network led to other open iterations such as email, e-commerce, chat, social, and so on. Each of these technologies has thrived because its users craved convenience and connections across all of their favorite products, data sources, and people.
The bottom line is there’s simply too much value to unlock by bridging different silos of information. It doesn’t matter whether you’re mining social data to make a production decision for your TV network or attributing in-store visits to the latest viral social content, more connections between the people and data involved improve the outcomes of those decisions.
At Spredfast, we focus every day on not only innovating our core but also expanding the breadth and depth at which our platform connects to the outside world.