While I agree with both of the above posts, we are trying something different with our company that may prove relevant to your situation.
Currently, we are developing our main product, for which we do not have a release yet. Simultaneously, we are spending approximately 15% of our time developing a tool related to our core business that we will offer for free to drive traffic to our website. It is somewhat a chicken or the egg situation:
A. Focus 100% on our preliminary product to develop a release candidate as quickly as possible, or
B. Spend some time developing a side product which will drive traffic to our website and help us build a community, which will greatly facilitate the ease of selling our main product when the time is ready.
Since we don't have any time constraints and we are not running out of bootstrapped money (yet), we have chosen to generate awareness by creating and giving away a free tool. This may be something that does not work well for everyone; we operate within a niche environment and hope that it will get us noticed by the right people.
I apologize if my answer is open-ended. This is because, as I write this, I am unsure what will happen in our situation. I think the key is to analyze your specific variables:
- Purpose of new product development
I will update once we have released the tool and let you know if that has helped us.