Subject: Market Research and the Internet
From: John W Noerenberg <jwn2@QUALCOMM.COM>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1993 08:21:22 -0800

Recently there has been a discussion on this list and a couple other lists
and news groups I read about the evils of advertising on the Internet.  My
problem is a little different (I think).

As some of you are probably aware, Eudora is now being supported by
Qualcomm, my employer.  I am nominally responsible for managing the support
and development for Eudora.  What that equates to is I have the task of
keeping the high-spirited and extremely talented engineers who are truly
responsible for Eudora pointed more or less in the same direction.

Because Qualcomm is a business, it is natural to regard the great
popularity which Eudora has found on the net as an opportunity to create
new business for Qualcomm.  This is despite that fact that our core
business has to do with hardware technology for communications, rather than
software.

We approached our Chairman with the idea of setting up a business to
service the Eudora community.  Dr. Jacobs enthusiastically embraced the
idea, which was extremely gratifying to me (and a great relief).

What we have in mind is a business devoted first to supporting the work we
have already done to develop the program.  The goal is to develop new
versions which implement features the Eudora community has asked for, as
well as insure the integrity and reliability of Eudora.  Some future
version will be available only under limited distribution, but we plan to
keep a free version available on the Internet for the forseeable future. 
I've come to think of this as the StuffIt model (although Stuffit itself
began as shareware, Aladdin's marketing approach for Stuffit roughly
parallel's our ideas).

The problem I now face is estimating the size of the market we can attract.
 Since Eudora is used widely on the Internet, I would like to find a way to
reach Eudora users to ask them for their addresses so that I can send them
detailed information about our plans WITHOUT using Internet.  The thing I
fear is alieniating the very community I am trying to reach by taking an
action which violates the spirit of the Internet, as well as policies of
some of the networks which are members.

So I ask your advice.  Am I risking vilification, damnation and general
mayhem, not to mention censure by the Internet, if I were to send via EMail
to sites using Eudora and post on UseNet a note outlining our plans, much
as I have done for you, and asking them about their site, and where they
are located so that I can appeal directly to them for their dollars?

john noerenberg
jwn2@qualcomm.com
noerenberg.j (Applelink)
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We should listen.  But we won't be deceived
by words such as Indispensible, Unique, and Great.
Someone else indispensable and unique and great
can always be found at a moment's notice.
--When The Watchman Saw The Light, Constantine Peter Cavafy
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