(When Fuji had better film than Kodak, Bill went to talk to the engineers – In his view, Kodak did not have a marketing problem; it had an engineering/innovation problem)
– Bill suggested something. How about we go over to the research lab and talk to the engineers? Maybe they can come up with something better, too.
Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle
I am a fan of marketing. Marketing done well is a thing to behold. It is essential. If you build a better mousetrap, the world may beat a path to your door; but they may not. You might have to tell them about your better mousetrap.
But…but…marketing is no substitute for product. You really do have to first have that better mousetrap!
I have bought enough junk in my life. Too much. And, I have spent too much on short-lived technology. (Anybody want to buy my Palm Pilot? I know I have it in a drawer somewhere.)
And if somebody tires to market junk to me, I am not a fan of the effort. I resent the effort. And, they lose any hope of me ever listening to them again.
Ryan Holiday, the Stoic enthusiast, wrote an entire book about this. In my synopsis of his book Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts, I include, as I always do in my synopses, the question “Why is this book worth our time?” Here are my first two answers for this book:
#1 – This book provides the order: first you create/make/produce; then, and only then, do you market.
#2 – This book states in the strongest possible way how to start – create something great!
And, he says this: The work itself — To be great, one must make great work, and making great work is incredibly hard. It must be our primary focus. We must set out, from the beginning, with complete and total commitment to the idea that our best chance of success starts during the creative process. …Crappy products don’t survive.
Now, this is not an excuse to skip marketing; or to bemoan the fact that people don’t find your great product on their own, and beat a path to your door.
Good, effective marketing is hard; demanding; essential. Learn to market well. Then, actually market well. But, marketing is second. It is not first.
First, have a great product or service. And, second, keep it great.
Because, in the blink of an eye, someone may come along and have an even better product or service. And, when that happens, people will gravitate – quite quickly – to that better product or service.
So, you be the one to make a better product or service than the one you have now.
Make a great product.
Deliver a great service.
Reject anything less than great.
That’s the formula!
You can purchase my synopses of this two books, and many more. Each synopsis comes with my comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout, plus the audio recording of my synopsis presentations.