Mautic 3, nine months have passed…

We might be losing a golden opportunity!

Several weeks ago it was announced on the #core channel, that Mautic 3 development teams where being formed. I was very excited, naturally. I took a look at how the groups where setup and I noticed one thing, this was a purely technical and completely development focused set of groups, where was the “Product Side” going to be discussed, I wondered… So I asked this very specific question during the next #core meeting… “Are Mautic 3 development groups going to define what Mautic 3 as a product will be like?”

The answer I received was as clear as it was troubling: “Mautic 3 will follow the vision DB Hurley has already defined”


What is DB Hurley’s vision for Mautic 3?

Once again I will state that, in my opinion, Mautic’s father vision is, from the technical perspective, wonderful. However this vision is limited to that, the technical part, and basically goes like this (sorry for the extreme oversimplification):

“We’re gonna rebuild Mautic from scratch, using the latest trends in software development architecture, so we get, in 9 months (I say 2-3 years) a new version of Mautic that has exactly the same features (and limitations) as the current one”

Again, sorry for the oversimplification and the extremely partial extraction from what the full vision is, however, for what it’s worth for Mautic as a product, that’s how that vision reads.

Why troubling?

There’s going to be a humongous effort undertaken by the Mautic Inc. developers and the entire community, just so in 2 years, we are… exactly in the same spot we are now!

To me that’s simply unacceptable, now that the entire codebase will be either revised or re-written it’s the right time to evaluate what Mautic currently is, it’s competitive advantages and it’s (numerous) shortcomings, and then take advantage of this incredible opportunity to define what Mautic 3 should look like, beyond the technical aspects.

Mautic hasn’t structurally changed since its creation. It’s basically the same it was in 2014 in terms of what it does and how it does it. In 2014 you could have said it was revolutionary or at least cutting edge, more than 4 years have passed! What was cutting edge in 2014 is now mainstream in 2019, every Marketing Automation platform nowadays has a very similar set of features, a much better interface, and much better social media integration. For the love of god, nowadays every email delivery company has Marketing Automation integrated into their service! Mautic is not cutting edge anymore, it is in fact, barely good enough.

I fear…

I fear that if Mautic is just barely OK in today’s terms, by the time Mautic 3 is completely coded and free of bugs, it might be just too late…

I fear that if in the last 4 years, Mautic has gone from revolutionary to ordinary. Unless we re-define Mautic as a product right now, it will be so obsolete in 2023 that nobody else will want to use it, even if it’s free!

One of the foundations of modern product marketing is: “The client is the center”, that’s basically what “customer-centric” means, everything is built around the needs of the client, happy users = happy clients = more sales.

A very troublesome prospect for me, and most probably for any of us which consider themselves to be marketers, is the idea of embarking on the third iteration of Mautic exclusively from a technical and development perspective, totally ignoring the customer and the user, which is unheard of any successful product/company since the 80’s and one of the foundations of modern product marketing: “The client is the center”

Nope! Not for Mautic! we’re going to go back in time to the 70’s and make the product first and find people who can use it later… good luck with that!!!

</start of joke>
Is this the end of everything?

Naaaaaaa, the world will keep turning… only without Mautic. The first victim being Mautic Inc. that won’t be able to charge as much or find as many clients for an obsolete product. Initially, this will be good for the rest of the companies offering Mautic, but it will be short-lived and they will follow the same fate, just sometime later. The development will slow down, to a stall, the community will suffer and as Mautic becomes more and more obsolete, forks will appear in an attempt to revamp the product, but fragmentation will destroy those too, companies will start looking elsewhere…

Aren’t you being a little too dramatic? Indeed I am, I love drama!

</end of joke> (or is it?) 

Can we do anything about it?

Just imagine, we could take this opportunity to build the Marketing Automation Platform of the future, we could use this wonderful chance to improve Mautic and make it cutting edge once again.

Mautic was built upon the vision of one man, a man who didn’t have thousands of community members at his disposal when he made the first version of Mautic. The Mautic of the future could be built upon the vision of that entire community that now exists, without barely any cost for Mautic Inc.

  • Market evaluation groups could be set to analyze market trends and competitors.
  • Future groups could be defined to materialize the findings of that research.
  • A better way to listen to, classify and surface the best feature requests could be defined.

We could hear the advice of people like John Linhart and pay attention to his views on Mautic 3 development, his recent post on Mautic 3 hits the nail right in the head.

I couldn’t agree more with his views, but most of all, his inside knowledge of Mautic’s code makes him an authority regarding everything Mautic development, hence I value his points of view as if he coded the thing himself đŸ™‚

I will, of course, take this chance to share my own views, which have kindly been disregarded by DB Hurley and Norman Pratch, them being the illuminated ideator and the project leader respectively. I have sent them both my views and concerns, never to receive a reply (no surprise here). I have also tried to introduce some debate in the #core meetings to no avail.

Rewriting the entire thing, just so Mautic 3 has exactly the same features and UI as Mautic 2 is Uber stupidity.

Just as Mautic 2 cannot be frozen for several years while we wait for Mautic 3, Mautic 3 cannot pause the evolution of Mautic as a product for 2 or 3 years.
And that’s IF (a big if indeed) it takes 2 years… 2 years was my estimate for Mautic 3 development IF development of Mautic 2 was to be frozen, if it’s not (which would be fantastic) M3 development will take much more than 2 years. 

Are we ready for Mautic’s evolution to be frozen for 2 or 3 or maybe 4 years? The right time to define what mautic will look like in 3 years is now.

In my past ramblings about Mautic 3, I played with the Idea of slowly transforming Mautic 2 into Mautic 3, instead of rewriting the whole thing from scratch. Mautic is already quite well architected, yes there are certain bottlenecks that need solving, however, we’ve got an incredibly comprehensive API, and the foundations are incredibly strong, there are Mautic deployments out there with over one hundred million contacts, that’s just one single deployment!

David’s vision is undoubtedly very valuable, we wouldn’t have Mautic without that, I just wish he would contrast those visions with the current reality before forcing everyone else into action, just give these great ideas some thought, let them cure for some time before converting them to actual plans people are forced to follow…

David’s vision about Mautic 3 is brilliant, I really believe this is where we need to head to from the technical standpoint, just not by throwing away everything that we’ve already built.

Conclusion:

There are incredibly knowledgeable people in this community, we’re missing a huge chance by not actively making sure they get involved in the future of Mautic 3.
Mautic 3 should be open for discussion, as a whole, until we all reach an agreement on what it should be like, only then it can have the unconditional support of the entire community.


Yosu Cadilla

Hi, thank you for reading this article, hope you found it useful. My name is Yosu Cadilla, I've been both a Marketer since 1996 and a Systems Administrator since 2000, switching back and forth and mixing both trades. Since discovering Mautic, I've been specializing in large Mautic deployments as well as Mautic for agencies. Nowadays all my clients are Mautic related (except just one that I've been working with since 2013). If you are planning on deploying Mautic on a large scale, or if you are undecided about Mautic being a good fit for your organization... let's have a chat! yosu.cadilla@gmail.com