I recently saw a video with Jeff Bezos saying (to paraphrase) "with the internet you should spend much more time on making a great product that can market itself.".
I have spent (an unbalanced) 99% of my time developing and I need to step it up on marketing efforts a bit.
How much time should a single man shop spend on marketing?
You know the saying "If you build it they will come"?
Well it's not true.
The true saying is "If you build it and it solves their problem well they will use it" I wrote a blog post about this exact problem.
It has to do with giving value rather than communicating it.
What Bezos is referring to is that you can't control criticism as you used to be able to (with marketing). If you don't focus on making your product something people talk good about then they either wont talk about it or if they do will talk bad about it.
Wont work anymore.
From the post I set up the five following principles for brands who want to make it in a world where criticism can be channeled.
You can read the entire post here
The amount of time varies with need.
At first you're right to be heads-down in dev -- nothing to market yet!
Once you have a v1.0, marketing becomes more important; specifically you're looking for early adopters to use, buy, and help you tune the features.
Five years later, dev might become 25% of your time because the product is set; you can't change too much because of retraining customers.
There are three critical parts to a business:
ThomPete nailed it that the old mantra "build it and they will come" just does not work. As an entrepreneur, you need to ensure that the business will survive. If you neglect any area, your business will suffer. Maybe not right away but sooner or later.
I spend 50% in marketing and marketing research. Mostly when I am not in a mood to code.
Graham fooled me :) Paul Graham says good products never go out of business (can't remember the essay's likn ), so in my startup my original plan was building something really good so it'd sell itself.
Well, what Paul said was right "you won't go out of business if you have a good product " but not going out of business doesn't mean you'll have a successful business.
There are two things:
As soon as we realized this, we switched our effort from development to marketing, in our case change the roadmap to focus on feature that affect marketing. We are still spending most of our times %80 on development but %40 of this development is more focused on marketing features of the product. This might not work in many products, in our product there are some features not core features, but good for marketing.
As Jason wrote Marketing vs. Development time will change rapidly in every step of the product. Sometimes working on new features can be considered as marketing, sometimes you'll say "no more feature will effect our sales, we gotta go there and sell it now."
Some companies sell features (i.e. FogBugz), every new release means marketing. Even if their software does all required things good enough, they'll still put more on top of it. (i.e. Office Word). It's an infinite process and all about marketing.
Some companies got a fixed product in a solid state, all they need to do is marketing.
But if you've released your product, %1 marketing sounds like a terrible idea, you need at least %15 of your time spend on it unless you got a huge fan base who does the marketing for you.
As shipping is a feature, marketing is a feature as well.