The year of 2016 was awesome for Mautic Community in Japan. 5 meetup groups have launched in Japan. All of them are actively organizing meetups to spread the word of Mautic.
In this blog post, I will briefly introduce Mautic Community of Japan.
First, this is Katz. I am one of the organizers of Mautic Meetup Nagoya. With lots of helps of my friends, I organized 9 meetups in 2016. I’m one of the managers of concrete5 Japan, Inc, to spread the word of another awesome open source product, concrete5 CMS.
In Japan, it is very hard to conduct open source business since many people don’t believe in open source business. But we love open source very much that we started the business with it. Now concrete5 CMS is one of the popular CMS in Japan that is used from small businesses to large enterprises.
Takuro, my partner of concrete5 Japan, Inc, found out about Mautic when he was searching for the right marketing automation tools like any other Mauticians. As we all truly believe in open source, we, at concrete5 Japan, Inc, all became Mauticians.
This is 24th blog post of Mautic Advent Calendar 2016. (The Japan’s IT communities have the trend of blog marathon in December.)
How is open source communities in Japan
In my opinion, open source products are only popular among small businesses in Japan. It’s not because the software is open source. It’s because many open source products are free. It’s simply the cost issue. Many of them don’t contribute back to the open source community. Many thinks that they don’t have enough programming skills; they think they don’t speak in English; they simply think they are not good nought to contribute back; or they simply don’t have enough time.
Many companies, especially the enterprise companies, don’t believe in open source simply because they think they won’t be able to get satisfying supports in Japanese.
They don’t have budget. The management don’t want to learn about IT. They don’t understanding hiring engineer team to maintain their system. But they rather pay proprietary software the license with supports in Japanese. They save budget for the engineer cost and blame the software companies because they pay their money.
The managements don’t understand the concepts of contributing open source helps their own business.
Consequently, there are only few people who are contributing open source. I’ve seen many open source members in Japan are suffering to get enough time to contribute to open source because they are too busy with regular work. There are few management, regardless of the scale of business, who understand the philosophy of open source.
Many popular open source projects are failing in Japan
I’ve seen many world-class open source projects are failing in Japan although there are definitely the potential.
I see that there were a problems on both sides of Japanese and core team.
First, both Japanese community leader and core team don’t understand each other because of language and cultural difference.
Second, Japanese are having hard time to be an open source projects. There are not just enough people to sustain the project.
Third, even though both Japanese and core team recognize the problem, both parties cannot allocate enough time to solve the issue. It’s either because Japanese team is not generating enough revenue, or core team cannot allocate their resources to Japan considered to the market size.
Forth, regardless bad circumstances, there are still many people who truly believe in open source. WordPress community is very successful. EC-Cube, which is ecommerce open source product, was able to become Japan’s best open source ecommerce platform. Their secret were that those projects understood how Japan’s open source community should run differently.
Fifth, Tokyo and other part of Japan are very different. You need to understand how people do business in Tokyo, and the rest of Japan.
What I and we have been trying to do in Japan
When I first introduced concrete5 in Japan 6 years ago, I made sure that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes that other famous open source projects had. I spoke both Japanese and English fluently enough that we can communicate each other. And I didn’t make concrete5 as my primary source of income for the 1st couple years.
First, I made sure that I kept feeding the core team moderate amount of information about Japan marketing by visiting and skyping once, or twice a year.
Second, I kept having the meet-up at least once a month and keep interacting other open source communities and web marketing communities of Japan.
Therefore, I was able to bridge both core team and Japanese community in the loop.
Then, we came up with the plan to incorporate the company that we are support company of an open source products, which is now concrete5 Japan, Inc.
We want to prove to Japanese people that open source products are as good product as proprietary software, and they can also get the support.
It’s been 4 years. The company is growing, providing supports to both companies and web design firms.
The light of marketing automation with Mautic
When we were working with our clients, marketing automation was always the key. We knew that it would be the next things for digital marketing that we cannot avoid.
Mautic has debuted to the market at the right time.
It was very perfect time that we started to hear that many enterprises in Japan started to using expensive marketing automation tools. But I knew that it would be very hard for small to medium businesses to embrace the marketing automation without the help of open source products.
What I’ve been trying to do for Mautic community in Nagoya
After Hissy launched Mautic Meetup Tokyo, it was no reason why we should not start Mautic community in Nagoya.
What I decided to do for Mautic Meetup Nagoya is three things.
First, once we start meetup, we make sure we do meetup it regularly.
When people know that we are doing meetups regularly, people will notice us slowly but certainly. If people cannot come to one meetup, they can try to come for the next meetup. Now I’m organizing two meetups, every 1st monday night and now every 3rd Tuesday. Most of all, I personally need to learn about marketing automation. When you really want to learn something, start a meetup.
Second, We will be honest. We declare ourselves that we are not marketing specialist. When you just prepare a space to gather and learn, the specialist will come to you when you keep doing it. In fact, last Mautic Nagoya Meetup #9, we had experienced UX specialist came to talk to us. We are using the actual customer journey map to take it into Mautic campaign.
Third, we make sure that we connect to the rest of the world as much as I can. Language barrier is always concern. Whenever I can, I will try to share our activities to the rest of the world. It’s important. But I was very surprise to see that David Hurley himself saw what we do and he came down to talk to us in the last September.
Soon after I launched Mautic Meetup Nagoya, many of my friends from web communities got their interests. Moreover, a quite few already got their projects approved within attending few Mautic meetups.
Mautic Community in Japan
Here are the list of other Mautic Community in Japan. I was preoccupied with setting up Mautic Meetup Nagoya. I hope to introduce about other Mautic Meetup of Japan.
Different people from different group of interests came together for one thing in common: Mautic.
They all want to lean marketing automation, but organize differently, embracing open source community in Japanese way.
- Holding at random (Almost monthly)
- Mostly at NHN Techrus in East Shinjuku
- Organizers: Takuro Hishikawa, Kohei Nishikawa, Jun Katayama, Susumu Seino
- 305 Mauticians as of Dec 2016
- 8 Meetups in 2016
- Holding twice a month. One workshop, and other for self-hackthon
- At Basecamp Nagoya, a coworking shared office.
- Organizers: Katz Ueno, Takashi Ono, Miyuki Yamada, Tom Inaba, Kurudrive
- 131 Mauticials as of Dec 2016
- 10 Meetups in 2016
- Holding at random (almost bi-monthly)
- At Sapporo Cafe
- Organizer: Kohsaku Saito
- 57 Mauticians
- 4 Meetups in 2016
- Holding at random
- At JUSO Coworking
- Organizers: Atsushi Ando, Hiromi Kitakado, Matsuo Hiroshi, Okamoto Hidetaka, Yoriko Horikawa, Yoshiko Sarakai
- 45 Mauticians
- 1 Meetup in 2016
- Holding at random
- At JUSO Coworking
- Organizers: Tomoharu Ito, Atsushi Ando, Takamichi Hara
- 40 Mauticians
- 1 Meetup in 2016
I love open source and running a community to meet people all over the world.
If you plan to visit Japan, plan to stop by Nagoya!
And we’re ready for Mautic Conference in Japan.