It used to be so simple.
You paid someone to build your product. Then you bought broadcasted advertising to market it. Finally, your product was sold in a store.
No matter what you sold, cars or toothbrushes, this worked and money made it happen.
Then came the internet.
The internet has this magic ability to pull people together across geographical distances (note how I even have to use the word “geographical” to highlight the type of distance I’m talking about – you didn’t have to do that before the web). When people can communicate with each other they start doing things. They talk about things. They explore and share ideas. They build things.
And they do it out of love. Out of passion.
This changes a lot of things, including advertising and how products are created.
People talk about things they like. People build on stuff they like, they add value to products they like.
This means that if your competitor has a product that ignites passion and love in their users, they will get a lot of marketing and product development done for free.
If you are stuck in the traditional way of thinking (pay for product development, pay for advertising) you will end up with a more expensive product that is evolving and innovating slower than your competitors.
Needless to say, you will fail.
Yepp, that’s right, money will make you fail.
I told you things had changed!
Now, I’m not saying you should leave all your product development and all your marketing to your users. Every product and every market has its’ own optimal balance of love and money and you have to find that yourself (in tight competition – or cooperation – with your competitors, of course).
How much love is there in your product?
What I am saying, though, is that you should start looking at your product development and advertising costs as failures.
Paid advertising is failure to ignite the love in your users that make them talk about your product.
Paid development is failure to ignite the love in your users that make them build on and innovate on your product.