Friday, October 31, 2008

If you build it, will they come ?

If you build it, will they come ?

Management-types like to tell engineering-types that just because you build it, they will not come. You have to hype it, and sell it, and make it relevant, and easy to use, and so on and so forth.

Well, they're half right.

As an engineering-type who is also a management-type, I can tell you this: If you build it they may or may not come, but if you don't build it they will never come.

So you have to start by building it. Creation comes first. And you know what ? Its harder than it looks.

So you must build something good to stand even half a chance. Something really really good.

And the very best things get build when those who build them believe in them and love building them. And it can be heart rending. For the more of yourself you put into creation, the more you're vulnerable if they don't succeed. That's the risk of creation, that's what artists have to endure, and poets, and writers....and engineers.

It's so much easier to just slap something together, and it might even work. You might get lucky, you might hit a jackpot, you might accidentally discover something truly unique. But the fundamental truth is that you can mess up a good product with bad marketing, but you can never fix a bad product with good marketing.

So you know, go ahead and build it, enjoy building it, feel the thrill of creation. Deliver something you love and that gets your pulse racing.

They might come, they might not. But at least, if they do come, you will have something to keep them coming back.

PS: It was a conversation with Bassam last week that sparked this chain of thoughts.

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