Jesse and Craig started Oppkey in response to developer complaints about inauthentic marketing content from Silicon Valley technology firms. Marketing teams are simply not built to interact well with developers. Too much money is spent trying to cover this basic problem. You can spend less money but get more closely connected to developers. Oppkey has the technical talent to speak with developers directly and has critical communication skills for writing and communicating. Oppkey is the connection point between four key types of people.
Jesse holds a masters degree from Stanford University. Prior to Oppkey, he held executive roles at technology companies and market analyst firms. In the 1990s, Jesse was a sysadmin on Sun boxes for five years, a technology analyst in Tokyo covering Japanese IT, and co-founder of an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Linux company supplying researchers in the national labs. Open source communities were a special focus. Jesse was acting President at Turbolinux in Japan (acquired by SRA), and held VP positions at Intrinsic Graphics (acquired by their largest customer Vicarious Visions), Tablus (acquired by EMC), and Seclarity. Jesse worked for Page One PR running the Japan Project before founding Oppkey in early 2010. Jesse played ice hockey up through college and won the Bay Area Street Hockey championship the one and only year he played street hockey here. Epic! Craig understands the market development requirements of technology businesses. He’s started four technology companies and successfully sold two, resulting in more than 500% return for investors. He is co-author of a technology book on Linux published by O’Reilly, co-founder and former president of the first Linux User Group in Asia, and former president of a global online community acquired by a US telecommunications company. In his spare time, Craig teaches mobile app and web development. To keep healthy, Craig has gone surfing 1,000 times since reaching middle age.
Oppkey works with technologists around the globe to understand and write content for our clients. We span a wide range of skill sets, covering open source technologies, API testing, hardware testing and more. And we produce forum support, documentation, testing results, and help on all levels.
We connect deeply with our clients, enhancing their voice, connecting with their specialists, and helping them engage with developers. Who hires this unique developer relations team? We are hired by development managers who moved over into business development, product managers, and senior marketing teams that are in charge of strategy. Our day-to-day contacts are with developers, product managers, and marketing teams.
We give something of value, and that way we get something of value back. We talk with developers and define their issues. We help with front line support, replicating - if possible - the same testing environment, getting them good information. Sometimes we can do this immediately, sometimes we interact with our clients' development teams to solve support issues.
Our junior staff rolls up their sleeves and handles writing, pitching media, posting to social media, staffing media and clients calls, and much more. Throughout, they have great attention to detail. We can add team members to cover a greater variety of activities and scale with our clients’ requirements.
It’s too expensive and can be distracting. But marketing teams fail at connecting with developers. But there are real benefits to having engineers know what is happening with customers and what types of issues they are having. With one international billion dollar hardware client, we communicate with their development team through an internal Slack channel. First, we engage with outside developers through the developer community that we host and manage. In many cases, we solve support issues in the forum. When needed, we can ask support questions directly to our client’s engineering team. The Slack channel is monitored by 30+ managers and even the business unit head. We focus on low volume, high value questions and information. We save our client time and money by filtering and managing support issues and important use cases that come in through the developer community.
Oppkey worked with a major open source consortium to elevate and communication out about their user groups all around the world. We used our own network of technologists to schedule interviews over a two year period - and still continuing - to build a large library of blog posts, social media interactions, events promotion, and more. We helped elevate our client to a clear leadership role. which has influenced board strategy and budgets based on real results.