Created: 2008-11-20 18:05
Updated: 2018-12-25 10:31




Many product companies make product decisions with a flawed understanding of what’s important to their customers. Focus groups, customer advisory boards, and one-on-one conversations all provide data points to determine customer wants and needs. But these approaches make broad assumptions about your users based upon a limited set of anecdotal evidence.

OpenMind enables you to build an online community with your customers and partners, allowing you to:

  • Find out what features and improvements your customers as a whole would value most
  • Engage in an online discussion with your users to gain deeper insights into their needs
  • Communicate upcoming releases, closing the loop on customer feedback – your customers can see exactly which suggestions became committed features of a future release based upon community feedback
  • Gain deeper insights into specific targeted topic areas through user surveys
  • Allow customers to engage in online discussion with each other and with you via online forums
  • OpenMind uses a unique allocation-based point voting system that creates an environment in which customers will make the same type of trade-off decisions that you do. It’s not enough to know whether a feature request is a good idea or not – you need to know which ideas your customers value most.

Product managers make difficult decisions every day – part of their job is to assess trade-offs in order to determine what subset of possible features and improvements to address in a particular release based upon a limited number of resources. For example, the product manager must himself or herself the question: “If I have ten items on a list of possible features for a release and I can only do six of them, which six would provide the most value to my customers?”

OpenMind’s allocations create an environment in which your customers make the same tradeoffs that you do. If I can only vote a limited number of times, I will choose wisely where to spend my votes rather than indicating every possible idea that sounds interesting to me.


Installation and configuration instructions can be found under the doc directory, or online.


The current version of OpenMind is 3.0. 3.0 adds many improvements, including:

  • Support for one time passwords (OTP) to allow you to build single sign on from other applications
  • A portal to allow your customers access to key informaiton about their licenses and support tickets
  • Improved metrics for managing owned forum entries.
  • Improvements to how tag clouds are presented
  • Added perma-links/slugs
  • Added a compatibility matrix of product release versions
  • Re-implemented the searching using Thinking Sphinx for improved search capability and reliability


Bob Sturim Rich Sturim


Distributed under the GNU GPL license

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