The Search for Dolt Adopters and the Ideal Customer Profile

6 min read

Hi, I'm New Here

So for those of you that are new here too and I hope there are many of you, Dolt is a database with Git-like features. In Marvel terms, we took your standard base and gave it superpowers. You can branch, merge, and collaborate just like you would with your code in Git. So Dolt is Git for data and DoltHub is the place to share and collaborate on your Dolt databases.

I just thought of the Marvel reference, so I’m not sure which character Dolt is yet. I’ll have to get back to you on that after we discuss internally. I am partial to Deadpool in general but not necessarily for Dolt. Deadpool seems kind of dark for a database. Our CEO thinks maybe Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy. More to come on this... Drop me a line with your thoughts. brianf@dolthub.com

rocket

deadpool

Anyway, our team has built this really awesome open source database and we want to share it with the world, find use cases, and see what cool ideas people come up with by using it. We’ve got some pretty great customers already in the ML, NLP, and medical research fields. Here's the blog post.

If you have ideas, use cases, or just want to chat, swing by our Discord. We would love to hear from you. We also do tech talks for orgs on what we built and how. There is no cost for us to do a talk and we might even buy you pizza if you’ve read enough books. Pizza Hut gave me that idea. I’ll save you the google search if you don't know. https://www.bookitprogram.com/

This could be you learning about Dolt.

pizza

Who am I? I am the first salesperson here at DoltHub. I am also the only non technical person at our company. I talk to the people and report back to engineers. Not that our team can’t do that, they are all pretty great and love to talk about Dolt but their time is better spent making Dolt.

I like to think that I am more than ok at sales but to be really successful at selling you need to have good support and knowledge. Support and knowledge can come in many different forms and the knowledge that I’m currently after is who is Dolt’s ideal customer. When you know your ideal customer, selling becomes much easier because you can target the people or organizations that you believe you can truly help solve problems or figure out a better way to operate. This also means me/Dolt is not spamming the world and annoying the crap out of the wrong people with the wrong message. I’ve seen those messages and received them. I get it. It's annoying. I’ve read the posts from executives blasting sales people for emailing them. Guess what, your sales people are doing the same thing. What makes it less annoying and more helpful is actually knowing who to share your great product with and why it might matter to that company.

This is how I want you to to feel after learning about Dolt.

schittscreek

The Mythical Ideal Customer

So what companies are Dolt’s ideal customers? Every company needs a database, so everyone? AWESOME! Not really though. Sure every company needs a database but we are deep in the tech stack. Changing your database is not exactly top of mind for most companies. If it's not broken, don't fix it, right? There has to be really compelling reasons to make a change or a major need.

So what are the compelling reasons to use Dolt and who needs them? Here is what Dolt adds to an SQL database and who I think could use these features.

Time travel: You could also call this rollback. Basically you can return to any version of your database you want to quickly. This means you don't have to restore from backup. It’s just there and ready to roll. You just have to reference the state you want. This feature really could be useful for anyone but companies doing machine learning or NLPs might find this very useful since you can quickly go back to the successful database version to see why it worked so well.

Data Lineage: You can know the history of everything down to the cell level. Who updated it, when, what was it before, etc. You can also see the difference between versions of databases quickly and natively in Dolt. So this could be impactful for the ML and NLP folks again and then companies doing medical research.

Collaboration: You can give 100 people in your business access to the same database. They can each have their own copy actually and do whatever they want to their copy. Dolt’s magic takes place when it's time to make updates to that database. Since it works like Git, you can approve or deny people’s updates to data, schema, etc. This leads to less errors and more time doing analysis. This seems like it would be helpful for anyone doing research. Especially as we add compatibility with tools like Gsheets. The researcher doesn’t have to be a database expert. Dolt runs in the background to help with version control and keeping the data clean that everyone has access to.

What Now?

So we have a few ideas of who could possibly benefit from Dolt. Companies doing machine learning, NLP bots, and research. We think that data engineers, data analysts, and machine learning engineers will benefit from Dolt. So now the fun begins for me. Since we don’t have our messaging nailed down yet, I’ll need to experiment. That process looks something like this:

  1. Doing a bunch of cold outreach via emails, LinkedIn messages and phone calls to a relatively large group.
  2. See who responds, if anyone. I’ll even take a no. That lets me know our messaging needs work.
  3. Discuss internally on what we should try next.
  4. Refine our process based on customer and prospect feedback.
  5. Target more specifically with hopefully better messaging to the right people and companies.
  6. Back to step 1 if it doesn't work or keeping going if it does.

At the end of the day, the goal is to make more people and businesses aware of Dolt and let them tell us why Dolt is helpful to them. One of our more successful ways of doing this so far is through tech talks. We will have a few of our engineers go over how we built Dolt, our challenges, our features, how it works, etc. No sales pitch either. We just want to share what we built. We know it's really cool from an engineering point of view.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Since we are open source, the barrier to entry is creativity. How can you use DB with Git-like features? What can you do better with Git-like features built into a DB already? What cool products can you build off of this? These are all topics our engineers are happy to discuss. Seriously, hit us up for a tech talk or swing by our Discord.

I am sales so I need to get one pitch in.

pitch

We sell support. If you find a use case for Dolt in your business, we want to support you to make it work. We also want to give you a path to remediation in case something goes wrong. By paying for Dolt support, you get one of our very talented and expensive engineers at a discounted price acting as your customer service person AND you are helping keep the lights on at DoltHub so we can keep building this awesome tool.

Swing by our Discord, GitHub, or shoot me an email brianf@dolthub.com if you want to learn more.

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