Taking advantage of PR opportunities like Red Herring 100
by Bryan House
We announced yesterday that Acquia has been selected as a Red Herring 100 North America winner for 2008. A cool honor - and another data point that speaks to the growing interest in Drupal and to the validation of Acquia's business model to provide commercial support for Drupal.
Every year, Red Herring editors create their list of the top private companies in both North America and Europe. Its good publicity for the magazine trying to maintain its reputation as a thought-leader in the tech space, particularly when previous winners like Google, eBay and Skype have gone on to do great things. This year, there are a some interesting winners as well, including Meebo, Brightcove, SugarCRM and many others. Who will go on to be the next big company is anyone's guess.
What makes awards like Red Herring's and event contest's like Enterprise 2.0 Launch Pad important for Acquia is the process of crafting our story. There were 800 applicants to the Red Herring 100. In order to stand out in such a large crowd, we have to position ourselves in a understandable & compelling manner to an audience, in this case Red Herring editors, who may know little to nothing about Drupal, or in other cases, open source software.
As a result, submitting applications to award contests like this one or MITX is great messaging practice for us in a low risk environment. Rather than struggle in front of potential customers who are actively making technology choices, we can hone our chops in front of an audience focused on evaluating the merits of new technology companies and business models. This process of developing our positioning and practicing its delivery is a critical one for us as we ramp up to the launch of Acquia's offerings later this year.