The Small Pond Advantage

The recently announced acquisition of Jive Software's community tools by Lithium Technologies got me thinking about bodies of water. Sounds a bit weird but stay with me...

Jive and Lithium are both providers of forum software. In other words, they are the competition. In fact, we've done successful migrations for several current NodeBB clients who were previously using one or the other. But there are two big differences: both companies are substantially larger than NodeBB, and their forum offering is often wrapped up with a number of non-forum community building and tracking tools, whereas our attention is strictly on building great forum software.

Jive and Lithium customers tend to be "big fish" – that is, large companies with large communities. But of course, the size of a fish is relative to what it's swimming in. A shark looks huge when you see it at the aquarium, but there are millions of sharks in ocean. Jive and Lithium customers were swimming in a big ocean before, and now it's twice as big. It's easy to get lost in all that water, and in fact there already seemed to be challenges with Jive customers getting prompt support even before this merger.

Meanwhile, NodeBB represents something a bit different. In the world of forum software, we're the small pond. The guys who lead our company are the same guys who started the original NodeBB open source project. And because we focus on just one product, we're always trying to make it better. Case in point – our upcoming 1.6 release will feature a completely rewritten template rendering engine that will translate into huge performance improvements for all our forums (more on that very soon!)

It's fun to swim in the ocean as long as you don't get too far from shore. With NodeBB, we make sure you are never left out at sea. That's the small pond advantage.

Jay Moonah

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