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"So now after years of neglecting anything to do with marketing. I get it. Marketing is hard. So crushingly hard.Also I was incredibly naive in thinking that the product was so good that the marketing would just snowball itself into action"

This right here ... a 1000 times. I've been a developer for years now and I always held onto the same fantasy of launching something so good that marketing would take care of itself. After building a couple of products and being involved in a startup or two I've found that getting software built is not usually as hard as marketing it successfully




I don't mean to reply with just a me too - but, absolutely agree with you through my own spend a year developing a product I can't market experiences...

Software Development = Easy

Marketing that Software = Wicked Hard


Software Development = Easy

This is only true because most people are building fairly trivial software.


Was talking to an extended family member a few months ago, who had built up a large marketing channel for a potential new game, and was frustrated because he couldn't find a developer to build the game at a price he was willing to pay.

So I would say, it's only true because Hacker News consists mostly of people who already know how to build software, but far fewer of us know how to market.


You are taking that in a different context. It should be read as software development is easy compared to marketing that software.

For example, in a child comment you mention go build photoshop and get back on how "easy" it is. Problem is more complicated the software, harder the marketing part. In-fact, you might need a full fledged marketing and sales team if you were to successfully launch a complicated software.


Fairly trivial software sells too, my friend.


Sure. Trivial software + heavy marketing seems to be the quickest path to software riches lately.

But that doesn't mean we should make blanket statements that building software is easy. Because it's only easy if the problem you're trying to solve is easy.


The size of a need and the complexity of software for that need tend to be completely unrelated.

People are paying in proportion to the pain/joy you solve, not in proportion to how hard it is to solve that. The difficulty affects only supply - i.e., if you do make it, how large the competition will be.


Sure. If anything they tend to be inversely related. But go build Maya or Ableton Live or Photoshop and get back to me on how "easy" it is to build software.


I,oddly enough, had the opposite. Gave my software out to a few friends (wrote it for myself, as the others in its class sucked), Next thing I know I'm getting 100k d/l a month (paying for overages, fun) - and soon after have a few million users. Never have spent any money on advertising (even though the software DID make it on to a TV show in Denmark a few years later - and magazines, newspapers, etc.) Still getting downloads and new users.

Have also written tons of other stuff that this did NOT happen to :)


The Software was "StationRipper" (still IS StationRipper - first released in 2003. Holy crap, Dec 13 2003!?!?!!??!!? I'm glad I posted this, I had no idea it was almost the 10th anniversary!!!)


"Wrote it for myself, the others in its class sucked" sounds like the key to your success. Poor competition, which is always helpful. A solid understanding of the customers' needs, because you were one of them. And a very large market.


Just curious, what software was this?


I'm currently in between a programmer and a marketing guy in a specific niche. My interpretation is slightly different:

With software, you can find a way to get it to work. Given the right knowledge, you can accomplish your goal. (Assuming a goal that other people of similar skill have achieved it, and not proving P=NP type stuff.)

With marketing, even if you do everything "right", there's still a huge chance at failure. Being experienced, knowledgeable, and focused doesn't mean you'll accomplish what you set out to do.

I think it's related to the fact that you control software when you write code. Marketing has so much outside of your control that even doing everything right still only results in a < 100% success rate.




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