Market your work posted on 23 March 2024

Do you name your project with catchy names? Do you send an announcement after completing a huge project/milestone? Do you think about how to market your work? If not, you should.

For a very long time, I wouldn’t spend an ounce of effort in marketing my own work – this was especially obvious as I’m working on privacy/infrastructure mostly unrelated to product. For example, my one pagers are often titled “doing ” (e.g. upgrading our fleet to the next version of open JDK) while efforts driven by product managers had fancy names (movie references, puns etc.). There were obviously no mascots or logos in my documents.

While I don’t think every project needs a catchy name or that having a good name should a priority for a new project, spending time on marketing some efforts make sense in some conditions:

  • Your project is large and involves multiple teams – it’s easier for people to refer to project Sparta, project Unlimited, project Reformat etc.
  • A well marketed project is more impactful for promo – and to get engineers to work on it. While one could argue that this shouldn’t be the case, it is in practice. It sounds better to write “I lead project Unlimited” than “I lead a project to improve performance”.
  • Your project will be more visible – it will be easier for people to refer to your work, to bring it up in related discussions or just mention it at lunch.
  • Picking a name is an easy/relaxing/fun thing to do across stakeholders – it’s a good way to strengthen relationships between people

There is a time to pick a name and market your project though. I think the initial one pager should be crisp and focus on the core problem. But once there’s rough alignment with stakeholders and that the project is ready to be broadly discussed, marketing it properly makes sense. Once milestones are completed, send an announcement and call out people who worked on it – this recognition is sometimes what people appreciate the most.

What fun project name did you come up with/saw during your career? Head in the comments from the LinkedIn post to share these!

LinkedIn post