I have a problem: I feel that if I’m not coding, I’m not working.
As a developer and co-founder of a two-man tech company, this is bad. More features don’t sell your product, or engage your customers, or even make your product better. In fact, more code, more features, more “stuff” can bog down your whole product and make it lose the simplicity that drew people to it in the first place.
Plus, focusing purely on coding delays traction and getting crucial capital for your business. For a customer financed business, we can’t afford to neglect marketing.
The Myth of “Done”
Much has been written about marketing your products, and treating what you have today as “finished.” I particularly like Joel Gascoigne’s (of bufferapp.com) Treat it as finished. Joel says
The problem is that if we have in our minds that our product is “unfinished”, it will directly affect how we communicate our product to potential users or customers as well as press…By waiting to have a better product before you tell anyone or try and get any press you’re severely impacting the traction you could build.
Despite having a product that people love and pay for, it’s hard to think of Codiqa 1.0 as finished. There are so many things we want to add, and so many things our customers want us to add.
It’s a rather silly thought that if we focused purely on features in order to make money, we wouldn’t spend enough time on marketing to sell them.
Not “In The Zone”
I love programming. Being “in the zone” is one of my absolute favorite feelings, and I find it highly addictive.
The problem is that marketing and business development don’t get me in the zone. I can’t disappear into headphone world and get shit done. I personally can’t even listen to music and do it at the same time. Bah!
Since I don’t get Zone time in, I don’t feel as productive. I don’t feel like I’m really working to build my business, just wasting time sending words to other people.
Not Coding is Working
At the end of the day, what really matters right now is that we bring in enough revenue to grow Codiqa and work on it for years to come. Only revenue will help us go from the Codiqa of today to the Codiqa of tomorrow, a future development plan chock full of awesome programming work.
This means that we have to treat marketing and business development as real work. An 8 hour day full of it is not a day wasted but a future created.
Step 2: Find Great Resources
To get past my marketing block, I’ve started reading everything I can about being a good, honest internet marketer. I will be chronicling my journey on this blog.
Here are a few of the best links I’ve found so far and where I’m starting my journey:
- Startup Marketing Advice from Balsamiq Studio
- Patrick McKenzi on SEO Adwords for Bingo Card Creator
- The Noob Guide to Online Marketing
What about you? Are you a technical founder with a marketing problem? What are you doing to overcome it and learn this new skill?