There’s a very large company that’s throwing a conference in the next few months.
The social media airwaves are being flooded with ‘advanced certification’ this and ‘sign up for early bird discounts’ this. I suppose if you want to pay to attend a marketing event, that might be okay. There’s another company down under that had a large marketing event this week. Large companies have to throw these enormous marketing events so that your accountant or bookkeeper will recommend them to you. (Of course, if the product is fabulous, it’s worth recommending.) Convincing bookkeepers, who are mostly small business owners, to recommend Fortune 500 company products is a year round event. I’ve met some great company reps over the years. I just have a different job than them.
But I’d rather crank out some more awesome spreadsheets and downloadable products than pay for airfare and hotel and then sit in a marginally comfortable chair for six hours to listen to marketing speeches. (Go Team!) I’ve been informed that I’m the classic technology heads down in the trenches type. I should be hiring people to create my spreadsheets and books. I should instead be out marketing it. I shouldn’t post anything funny on twitter. I shouldn’t be asking questions. I should be presenting a nice shiny marketing image. (That sounds exhausting doesn’t it?)
Most of the startup advice revolves around hiring other people to do the dirty work and to focus on sales and marketing. Everything else is unimportant. I suppose that’s at least a bit true. Sales are necessary to make money, no doubt. So is thinking about the process and creating a quality product.
I guess product development isn’t important for technology startups. Maybe one day I’ll meet a guru who is so smart that he or she will convince me to outsource the key product stream to someone else. They will fling out some graphs and revenue projections so wonderful, that I won’t notice the 10% service fee. That they will talk so fast that I won’t notice that they have only been in business for six months. That they are asking me to trust them, when I know nothing about them.
Until then, I’ll keep creating awesomesauce spreadsheets and instructional books.
Update: 09/09/2014 I’m going to be in SF the day after the conference by some strange coincidence. 🙂