The AIR bus hit the road today, embarking on the first leg of its cross-country (and semi-international) coding tour. There is a genuine approach here to promotion that is so novel, it almost feels like nostalgia in the making. You can almost hear yourself 5 years from now, when just about every other software vendor has a fleet of buses crossing the country, recalling the inaugural red and logo-wrapped bus’s very first journey.
All the credit goes to a very bold and creative Apollo-turned-AIR evangelist team, namely Mike Chambers, for making a gutsy decision to turn a surplus (perhaps Dx3 stranded?) marketing budget into a macro-conference on wheels.
You have to admire one’s ability to step back and accept themselves as rock stars, literally, to imagine such a lavish and prominent campaign. A few tour bus images stream into mind that range from the supreme worthy to the ultra-humbling; Bessy, the heart and soul of Still Water in the movie ‘Almost Famous’; The bus the ‘wives couldn’t ride in’ in Mark Whalberg’s ‘Rock Star’; The traditional minor league baseball, compact yet full of character bus in movies like ‘Bull Durham’. So I wonder, which of these best represents the AIR bus? Maybe a combination of all, especially when it enters its final 3rd leg in the fall.
AIR is exciting, and the great thing is that you don’t really need to ponder if or how you will develop for it. If you are a Flash Platform developer in any shape or form, you are already developing for it. Flex Builder let’s you seamlessly deploy your existing Flex app to AIR. And soon to come officially (a hack already exists) you’ll be able to deploy your Flash app just the same. Certainly there are additional APIs that AIR provides that will help you properly convert your web app to better live in a desktop habitat. Anyway you look at it, the interest in AIR is growing and you’ve got people from VC’s to Ajax developers asking about it.
The bus will do great things in spreading the word and knowledge of AIR. It will create its own hype as it rolls, bringing a sampling of the cutting-edge and charismatic Adobe development team to your home town. In a ‘camp’ infested developer world, the AIR bus should set a new ‘bar’ for how intimate a software vendor can make the release of a revolutionary platform. Go bus go.