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Thanks for the debate (I can't reply to your last post). My experience has indeed been that engineers add more value to tech companies than marketers do.

I suspect it's also a matter of company stage (I'm predominantly early stage). If I were given $1M to start a tech company, I wouldn't hire any pure marketers. I'd hire engineers who have proven that they can design products.

I think the problem I have with marketers is that it divorces product definition from product construction. In my experience the best products come from the two being as close as possible. Ideally in one person.

Early startup example Mint vs that Qxxx company. (I cannot remember the name, started with a 'q' and my search engine is failing me (sigh)) There was post mortem where the founder talks about Mint's better marketing being the difference in their success.

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Wesabe? http://blog.precipice.org/why-wesabe-lost-to-mint


Ah yes, that would be it. Thanks! Sad I so totally mangled that name.


This is something I've encountered before.

The truth is though that most of the best engineers I know are some of the worst at marketing. They can have a great idea and great execution, but they can't effectively sell people on it, and they often simply think people will automatically buy it because it works and provides a useful service. Rationally, that makes sense.

Unfortunately, that's not really how things work most of the time. If you've started a business, you should know that sales and marketing takes work; even if you have the best product, it's not useful if nobody knows about it, or if it is associated with the wrong thing. That's why marketing is valuable.


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