Developer Product Go-to-Market, from the Tao to the Zen

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In the developers’ world, there is a well known book called “The Tao of Programming”. It was written by Geoffrey James 34 years ago and considered a masterpiece decoding the wisdom from the developer communities.

The book collected the daily stories of programmer Shifu and his/ her apprentice. Thanks to Geoffrey, it’s NOT a book with endless diaries, the book itself is only 100+ pages. I am curious a) why it has been popular for nearly 3 decades? b) more importantly, how to deliver “the Tao” in such a small book?

It must be a very hard execution problem.

Luckily, I followed Geoffrey a bit and found that he also wrote another book called “The Zen of Programming”. The “Zen” could be the solution to this hard execution problem.

Recently, there is a mutual friend who has been working on open source software (OSS) for almost 5 years. The OSS business requires heavy executions with the developer communities: to understand, to inspire, to educate and to connect the developers at large. While, a) streamline the complexity of teamwork is a hard execution problem. b) as the products are close to general availability to the commercial customers, it’s critical to expand their existing developer GTM capabilities to the commercial space, effectively.

It must be a very hard execution problem.

I have been working on the similar problems in the field for more than a decade. It’s a good opportunity for me to reflect and try to answer the following two questions: 1) what’s the best way to extend B2D (business to developer) marketing to B2B (business to business) marketing? 2) how to build the B2B marketing capabilities in a sensible manner?

Here are my solutions:

I think the two questions share the same core and connect with each other – it is about maintaining the momentum on the right, starting the new left and connecting the two in a harmonious way. While, it requires the right people, priority and protocol to make it happen.

This is not a blueprint that one size fits all, but rather a framework to lay out the foundation to the product or the business leaders to build on and customize to use. It’s an execution framework to achieve “the Tao” with the detailed tactics and priorities (as below).

You can download the source file of the chart (in .xmind). Please feel free to leave a comment on this doc or send me an email: huangjijia at

Thanks for reading.


Dec. 2020, at Beijing West

Developer Product Go-to-Market, from the Tao to the Zen”的一个响应


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