Somebody Click Me

4 min read

Somebody Click Me!!!

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Dolt is a MySQL compatible database with Git-like versioning semantics. Dolt is fast becoming a complete drop-in replacement for MySql.

More specifically, this is what Dolt adds to a familiar SQL database:

  • time travel: query the database at any point in its history, or instantly roll back to a previous state
  • data lineage: see who changed every value in the history of the database and why they did it
  • collaboration: merge multiple long-running edit streams together safely

We take the idea of a version control database quite literally. Hosted Dolt is on the way too!

Dolt has over 9,500 Github stars and counting. We have over 1,500 visitors a week to our website and a very active Discord, particularly for our bounty hunters. DoltHub receives over 30 new users a week.

That being said, we have a shockingly low number of people reaching out to learn more via a demo. This blog attempts to answer why.

The Demo Trap

Everyone knows what happens when you click book a demo...a pop-up form arrives and you enter the sales cycle. About 10 seconds later you get an email, phone call, LinkedIn request, and an invitation to the sales person’s wedding. This recent twitter exchange is a great example.

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This demo process is annoying. Especially to just kick the tires on a product. But on the other end is the business which needs to sell their product for obvious reasons. So the sales pitch needs to happen somewhere.

Are Demos Dead?

For the most part if you click book a demo on a website, you are ready to buy something. You have done your research already on various products and might have a few questions about pricing and competitive advantages.

Dolt is free and open source, though. There really isn't a reason to reach out for a demo if you can just download it. This is especially true for engineers. They can start tinkering with Dolt very easily since Dolt feels very familiar assuming you know Git, Github, and MySQL. Engineers get to decide on their terms if they like Dolt. There is no need for a guided tour. Engineers are definitely doing this and it's helping us because they talk to us our Discord and file Github issues.

What’s missing is the reason for an executive to reach out. What business or technology problem does Dolt solve? How do we figure that out?

Is It Us?

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Zach's recent feedback was a bit more colorful after Tim shared a Twitter thread on writing better copy for our call to actions.

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We also don’t do a great job of advertising our Dolt support options. DoltHub sells support contracts and solutions engineering to enterprise customers, and they receive prioritized problem resolution and input into our roadmap. The pricing page needs to be better at explaining these offerings, which is in the works.

White Glove Signup Treatment

Since we don't receive a lot of inbound requests, Tim and I reach out to any new DoltHub users to see if we can help with Dolt or answer any questions on the technology. Dolt is a new database technology and can take a little bit of explaining for people to realize how much of a game changer this database really is. Dolt supports a lot of use case. Our more popular ones are data ingestion, tracking the history of data and schema diffs, and fast rollback if something breaks. Read about some of our Dolt supported use cases here.

Our goal is a white glove experience and to ensure that our new users are greeted by an actual human. They also get to see our personal and fun sides. Hopefully no one is assuming we have a bunch of robots building Dolt. At least, not yet.

Lastly, understanding why users find Dolt interesting whether it's business or personal is important. This helps us figure out the wins that might turn an executive's head on adopting a new technology.

Conclusion

Bad CTA's aside, you should reach out or just sign up. We'll reach out to you. 😃

DoltHub has a team of industry veterans that have built amazing infrastructure. Nerding out about databases is fun for us. More importantly, we can share how we think Dolt could fit into your infrastructure (or doesn't if that's the case).

Demos aren't the right call to action until we figure out the business wins. We really believe that Dolt will just be an easier database to operate in the long run.

Tech talks have actually been a better way to share Dolt with companies. We explain the technology and answer questions. Engineers talking to engineers. It's a great way to start imagining what you could build with Dolt as your database. At worst, you learned how we built Git for data from the storage layer up.

Send us an email for a tech talk or friendly chat about Dolt.

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