Who Made That? Thoughts on Entrepreneurs, Developers and Marketers.
I saw something absurd earlier today, something that needs to be addressed in the startup community. I saw the claim that “the world belongs to makers”, which at first may sound like it has some merit, until you understand the context. The notion that there are “moochers” and “makers” is interesting, and I for one would rather be the latter, but the statement also comes with a lack of understanding of the tech ecosystem.
Similar to Derek Siver’s lesson on leadership (VIDEO: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy), where he explains that a leader is meaningless without followers, makers are in the same boat. The greatest product in the world is meaningless without customers, which I think is something we can all agree upon. So if customers are needed, who are the “moochers” being mentioned in contrast to “makers”? Enter the disturbing context mentioned above.
The statement “the world belongs to makers” was in reference to the public lynching of one of most brilliant marketers I know. The claim is simple: while this individual is brilliant at making connections, building brand loyalty, helping 78 people find employment, introducing investors to startups, and spreading good vibes, he never actually made anything. He’s a faker and doesn’t deserve to be part of the industry.
The makers are of course the ones writing code. We all know you can’t build a successful product without heavy coding skills. And of course, as we all learned from HBO’s Silicon Valley, developers are all trying to make the world a better place.
But there is one catch. You can write all the code in the world, but your product is meaningless without a UX/UI designer. Nobody is going to use your game-changing piece of tech until someone like me swoops in and makes it sexy as hell. My job is also to make sure it functions in a way where on-boarding is like learning to turn on a light and you never have to think twice before performing an action. So as you can see, developers are moochers, and us UX guys are the makers.
I should stop this blog post here, but there is one thing. The notion that “if you build it they will come” is false. (If you believe that notion, I would like you to invest in my new startup.) The developers made something cool, the UX/UI guys made it usable, but there is still no way to let people know about it. I would contact someone to do marketing, but it was firmly established in the beginning of this post that marketers are moochers. Or, perhaps, are they makers as well?
Products and startups do not exist in a vacuum. They need business plans, marketing plans, execution, testing, investors, product/project managers, mentors, customers and more. It’s a team effort and every team member of a successful startup is a dedicated maker. It’s an ecosystem and everyone plays a key part.
You’ll always have takers (I wrote about that here) but thats for each team to worry about.
Every Jobs needs a Wozniak, but every Wozniak needs a Jobs. And both of them need a Markkula and an Ive. And so on.