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I was thinking about Alex de Groot‘s blog post Thank you, Sitecore community. It’s somewhat self-congratulatory to say, but my experience watching Sitecore USA grow from a carful to a multinational group with offices in numerous states has made it clear that the most important aspect of the company is its people, especially those hired in the early days that set the company’s direction and culture. Sitecore has managed growth successfully by waiting for the right people to fill strategic positions.
For Sitecore, this most important aspect (people) developed the second most important aspect, product (the Sitecore Web Content Management System). Sitecore is really an amazing platform, and could not be as successful, extensible, and capable of increasing productivity as it is without this solid and well-considered architecture. This may indicate that a young software company should invest in its product, possibly in favor of marketing (often the primary factor in the success of a software company). But to be clear, Sitecore couldn’t possibly be as powerful without Microsoft and ASP.NET – Sitecore’s engineers don’t think they could have built Sitecore with Java (I haven’t asked about LAMP, Haskell, etc.).
For Sitecore, the third most important driver of success may be the community, which is really an extension of Sitecore’s people, and a result of Sitecore’s focus on the partner channel and adapting that business model as it expands into new markets. So thanks to all of the partners, customers, independent consultants, and Sitecore employees working around the world, on and off the clock, to improve the product, deliver optional components, develop custom solutions, teach training, educate prospective customers, write documentation, white papers, case studies, blog posts, and assist the community through the Sitecore Support Portal and on the Sitecore Developer Network Forums!
Sitecore has been fortunate to see its success continue as the market becomes more challenging. Web solution developers find common patterns, and Sitecore addresses the majority of those patterns with relative ease. I think it says a lot that people can sift and decipher the chaotic realm of CMS software literature including obsolete and misinformation to pick what I continue to think is the best Web CMS available. Great minds think alike!