[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software


by Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Guerrilla Marketing

For reasons that are explained in today's ship date article, my company's current marketing efforts are focused on low profile, word-of-mouth marketing, not Superbowl ads.

As a company founded by programmers, it's no surprise that a lot of what we do for sales and marketing is done by writing code, not by making phone calls or hiring ad agencies! In that spirit Michael has finished setting up an affiliate program for Fog Creek Software. A little ASP code, some database magic, three thousand pages of lawyer-approved legalese, and hey presto! an automatic sales program that costs very little.

If you have a web site, you can link to CityDesk or FogBUGZ and earn 15% any time someone buys our software through your link. We also decided to actually allow you to link to Joel on Software and TechInterview with the affiliate program. A lot of people hear about our software through these sites. So web sites that would link to JoelOnSoftware anyway can make money if anyone they refer eventually buys software from us (it works using a 30-day cookie).

To get the new program off to a good start, I'm going to raise the commission to 20% for anyone who signs up by Friday. And if you make your first sale before May 1st, we'll boost your commission to 25% permanently. You could make almost $500 if someone you refer to us buys a single FogBUGZ site license.

Today's Article: Picking Ship Dates

One of the best reasons to make a detailed schedule is because it gives you an excuse to cut features. If there's no way to make the ship date and implement Bob's Singalong MP3 Chat feature, it's easy to cut that feature without making Bob feel bad.

But -- how do you pick a ship date?


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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