Graham fooled me :) Paul Graham says good products never go out of business (can't remember the essay's likn), so in my startup my original plan was building something really good so it'd sell itself.
Well, what Paul said was right "you won't go out of business if you have a good product" but not going out of business doesn't mean you'll have a successful business.
There are two things:
- Having a great product in v1.0 is insanely hard
- In some markets you'll have many people suggesting products to each other but that's not the case for all markets. Especially if you are trying to sell something to business and sell something expensive, that's mostly not the case.
As soon as we realized this, we switched our effort from development to marketing, in our case change the roadmap to focus on feature that affect marketing. We are still spending most of our times %80 on development but %40 of this development is more focused on marketing features of the product. This might not work in many products, in our product there are some features not core features, but good for marketing.
As Jason wrote Marketing vs. Development time will change rapidly in every step of the product. Sometimes working on new features can be considered as marketing, sometimes you'll say "no more feature will effect our sales, we gotta go there and sell it now."
Some companies sell features (i.e. FogBugz), every new release means marketing. Even if their software does all required things good enough, they'll still put more on top of it. (i.e. Office Word). It's an infinite process and all about marketing.
Some companies got a fixed product in a solid state, all they need to do is marketing.
But if you've released your product, %1 marketing sounds like a terrible idea, you need at least %15 of your time spend on it unless you got a huge fan base who does the marketing for you.
As shipping is a feature, marketing is a feature as well.