[svlug] looking for people working on sweat equity/startup ideas...

Joe Buck Joe.Buck at synopsys.COM
Wed Mar 29 11:38:36 PST 2006

On Wed, Mar 29, 2006 at 11:00:03AM -0800, Al Eridani wrote:
> On 3/28/06, Alvin Oga <alvin at mail.linux-consulting.com> wrote:
> > add sales/marketing/pr to the list of "interests" or required talents
> > if things are going to work and is sustainable ideas
> I think this is (sadly) the most important talent. You may have a
> good product but you will only be able to generate income with the
> right marketing. On the other hand, marketing seems to be able to
> overcome weak products sometimes.

I think that if you pose the issue that way, you aren't understanding how
marketing is supposed to work.  Getting people to buy the product that you
have is not marketing, it is sales.  Good *sales* can overcome weak
products sometimes.  It is true that there are people with "marketing"
in their title that are just salespeople, but those folks aren't doing the
job right.

If a product is weak because the idea is weak, then marketing dropped the
ball, because marketing is supposed to figure out what the product is
supposed to be, not just try to figure out how to pitch whatever
engineering throws over the wall (of course, the product could be weak
because the concept was good but the execution failed, and then it is
engineering's fault).  That's why startups need a good marketing person
before there is a product, to help make sure that the product will
actually be something that people want to buy.

Some of the best marketing people I've met are also deeply technical; they
understand in detail the problems the customers are trying to solve and
can effectively work with engineering on the product design.  The really
good ones can also predict what the problems are going to be three years
from now, create good road maps, and sell both the customers and the
company management on the vision (so in that sense, marketing is like
sales, only marketing is about selling products that don't exist yet,
and then working to make sure that those products eventually do exist).

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