Playbook For Emerging Stuff

Clay Allsopp
3 min readAug 7, 2015


The New Stuff comes out at a pretty uncomfortable pace, right? But fear not — I think I have a playbook on how you can use the constant stream of New Hotness for fun and maybe a bit of profit.

(And while you read this, try mentally replacing Stuff with Docker, Mongo, Angular, or anything else you’ve watched take a ride on the Gartner Hype Cycle)

The Stuff Weekly Newsletter

Start simple, you don’t have to write a single line of code for this. Grab a domain (, toss a Weebly or Squarespace on top of it, drop in a Mailchimp signup form, and start listening for any and all activity about Stuff. Aggregate the greatest hits, maybe add light editorial, and send itout every week.

And hey, newsletters can make money: at scale, you start running job listings for companies who want to hire Stuff engineers. All you have to do is keep the content flowing and ride the Stuff wave.

As Stuff starts to blow up, lots of folks will inevitably Google “STUFF TUTORIAL.” Buy a relevant domain and start coming up with original content, which you’ve been learning via osmosis from all your newsletter authoring.

Make an event out of the site: one new entry a week, a dedicated Twitter account, and maybe an occasional mention on your Stuff Weekly Newsletter. Grow your audience, but always add value to the Stuff community.

Write The Book On Stuff

Now that you have the go-to tutorial on Stuff, you can start working on a book. You have the expertise, the audience, and the implicit authority via The book should definitely have more content than its free online counterpart, but the website content will seed the process.

You can use a traditional publisher or feel free to self-publish; remember to leverage your Newsletter and Twitter audience to grow excitement weeks in advance. After the big day-one pop of purchases, adding a persistent (but classy) reminder on will provide a long-tail of sales.


This might not be applicable to all Stuff, but it’s the most exciting outcome. By this point, you’re an expert in Stuff-ology, but most people don’t care for the nitty-gritty of managing Stuff and want it to Just Work. Luckily you know all about how Stuff runs under-the-hood and can wrangle its complexity as a freemium service for us mere mortals.

But you need to move quickly and monopolize Hosted Stuff. If you wait, someone else will offer their riff on Stuff-As-A-Service and compete with you mostly on subtle pricing differences. That’s not a very fun business to be in, and everyone loses.

Stuff In The Enterprise

My understanding is that taking Stuff into the Enterprise is all about making Stuff secure, allowing Stuff to work on-premises, integrating Stuff with LDAP, not offering explicit pricing on your website, and making folks enter their contact information to learn anything interesting about your product. (I kid, but only slightly)

This is an inevitable conclusion of Stuff-As-A-Service, but can also be done independently if someone beats you to vanilla SaaS and fails to address the particular needs of the Fortune 500.

The Next Stuff

Eventually, Stuff will be Old News; you need to adapt and start cannibalizing your Stuff products with the Next Stuff. By virtue of your track record with Stuff, making a strong early commitment to the Next Stuff as it emerges will dramatically increase the likelihood that it continues on a bright trajectory.

And then, well, you know the drill.