TOUR DE FRANCE – the 4D way

Meet 4D in France

This got my by surprise – 4D is doing some marketing. Good to see. Really! I’d need to move to France to enjoy it, but, heh, it’s just 2 hours from here (with a slow car and ignoring some speed limits).

Why surprised? Hmm, the impression from the last developer conference/Summit was “Why the heck they are talking about an ‘ongoing support/development for 4D’ – and nobody asked for this?”. Some of my colleagues got the feeling of pre-triggered dementi: deny it before even the question is asked.

It’s a long time since I have seen some real marketing material (no: pens, old-fashioned clocks, note pads (the paper ones), product descriptions… don’t count). This reminds me when I first met the younger Brendan C. in Denver (the blizzard Summit, for the older ones who remember). He showed me a 2 pages 4-color ad in the japanese MacWorld. Wow. I was used to 1/8 pages and the stuff from above in the parenthesis. What a difference.

Today? Maybe I read the wrong magazines and visit the completely outdated web sites – there is no living sign of 4D lately. That’s very sad. 4D is an acknowledged old-timer, but with a strong going heart. The engine got some beautiful face lifts, it’s more powerful than ever, the backup systems knocks all off at demos – and they are very happy that they installed it before the hard drive crashed.

But it is kept as a secret. 4D talks to 4D developers about it. How exciting! My guess is, there’s one needed to teach the 101 of marketing. Need a bad example? I got an invitation to a 4D webinar. The letter started with “Dear 4D Partner…” – come on – you can do better. Ever heard  about “mail merge” and how to build salutations? How’s about “Dear Peter…”, it’s called “personalized letters”, not really new this concept.

OMG, ok, I turn my rant mode off. I just wanted say, it’s good to see 4D France (at least one of all) is doing something.