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GOLD! Learning to Program is STUPID! (or SMART?!)

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by healthstatus, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Adrian Smith
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    Adrian Smith New Contributor

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    Well put my friend, indeed.
     
  2. healthstatus
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    healthstatus Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    But I can name 50 great products that failed because their marketing was a problem, and 50 mediocre products that took off because of marketing.
     
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  3. • nikita •
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    I answered this before but I think the biggest benefit of coding your own product (or at least a huge part of it), is that you can make edits immediately. Found a bug? You wrote it, you know where everything is, you know how to fix it. You don't have to find, hire, or wait for devs. Delay = people leaving to find another product.
     
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  4. csalvato
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    Interesting. I agree.

    Just as a thought exercise, can you name 10 mediocre products that took off because of marketing?

    EDIT: The reason I ask is because it would help get clarity on what you think "take off" means. For example, Snuggie "took off" as a very short term fad bc of brilliant marketing, but where is it now?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  5. Late Bloomer
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    I've been fascinated by the history of the personal computer industry for a long time now, and have read everything I can find on the subject. I believe that Gates wrote 100% of the Traf-O-Data code, 100% of the Altair BASIC code, was personally involved in code for every product up through the Epson HX-20 co-development with Epson, astounded Joel Sposky by inhaling the 500 page Office VBA spec overnight, and was the primary driver of the organization of .Net as Chief Software Architect, until he stepped down from as intense involvement with Microsoft in the mid-200's.

    MS-DOS was bought from outside, but Gates knew of the IBM opportunity, knew of CP/M, knew of a CP/M knockoff, and was confident it could be readily adapted for the IBM PC, because he was highly technical.

    Can you show me reliable references that would show I'm overestimating Gates's technical talent and its importance to Microsoft's success?
     
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  6. Late Bloomer
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    It seems to me that these discussions in this forum keep missing a critical ingredient: the level of innate talent!

    Some people have that mental twist that makes them able to become really damn good at programming. Visualize rebalancing a binary tree? Have a feel for how cache architecture will affect performance? Understand object lifecycle and when memory gets released? Whee, this is usually easy, and always fascinating and possible!

    Other people simple do not have it, in the same way I will never get much competence at football even if star players were to coach me every day. Where do I go clicky clicky again? Why is there a need for a semicolon here? Wait, I thought there was an inner loop here but this is the outer loop? I copied and pasted some code I don't understand and it still doesn't work!

    The first group probably should learn to code, for personal satisfaction AND for a truly kick-ass ingredient in their business arsenal. The second group should definitely outsource all their code needs!
     
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  7. Late Bloomer
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    Pet Rocks
    Mullets
    Beanie Babies
    Facebook
    8-track Tapes
    Atari 2600
    50 Shades of Grey
    Twilight
    Loudness Wars
    "The Little Drummer Boy"
     
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  8. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Cool. Where are they now?

    EDIT: also I’d hardly say Facebook was a marketing play. They had the best product and product-market fitnin class for years before doing any marketing outside ofnword of mouth.
     
  9. Late Bloomer
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    One is the largest social network in the world, that made its founder a billionaire.

    Two launched movie series that have made around $5 Billion at the box office so far. One of them started with fan fiction for the other, and has since led to the author making around $100 million with what every English teacher would agree is really bad writing.

    One was a copywriting gag with a cheap product attached, and like any good magic trick, through slight of hand the attachment was sold as the main event... making the owner a million dollars from a 32 page comedy book, in what every English teacher would agree was unusually clever writing.

    Once is credited as being the very first business to consumer Internet marketing venture. The product line is still active today, and the company's owner is a billionaire.

    Two items are now obsolete, but were crucial in launching multi billion dollar industries. Another probably had a lot to do with subsequently decimating one of those multi billion dollar industries.

    Overall, not bad results for a portfolio! Having a winning fad with great marketing of a mediocre profit, can be a path to huge success and wealth!
     
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  10. Late Bloomer
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    In some ways yes, in some ways no. Facebook still lacks some extremely basic functionality, such as threaded discussions and folders for private messages (let alone all the automated sorting rules of Gmail), or being able to sort the list of friends by how recently they had new posts.

    But there's no question that Zuck being a code geek has sure helped his success.
     
  11. csalvato
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    I actually disagree with many items on your list. Th ones that have lasting power (very few) were not marketing plays at all.

    The ones that were a flash in the pan (such as the pet rock) made a few million and petered out into nothingness ... those are the true examples of products that are pure marketing plays.

    Pet rock
    Snuggie
    Bioflex

    Compare any bullshit exercise machine you see on late night infomercials to the Peloton product: That’s the difference between marketing and product.

    50 Shades of Gray was much more than a marketing play. It’s definitively the most captivating erotica book of all time - despite what haters say.
     
  12. Late Bloomer
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    It's fine that we disagree. Right solution at right time, sold the right way vs. flash in the pan fad: that might be an interesting forum topic of its own, separate from discussion of software.

    We both do see that there are some offers virtually everyone would consider to be a marketing fad, yet they made millionaires, such as the Pet Rock. I personally would not turn down a chance to put a million dollars for writing a fun little booklet, and doing some fun advertising hype for it.

    I've not read the Twilight books or seen the films. But from reviews and excerpts, I can't find a single positive or worthy thing anyone has said about them, as literature or cinema. Except that the film seems to have shots that are in focus.

    I'm not into BDSM myself. Friends who are, have forwarded articles from sex therapists who think that 50 Shades set back public attitudes about sex. As it's not my shade of kink, I'm not informed enough to have an opinion there.

    In what way do 8-track tapes, the Atari 2600, and the loudness wars, not technically really suck? 8-tracks and the 2600 were instantly thrown away when better technology was available to consumers. The loudness wars helped drive consumers away from the music industry.
     
  13. Radek G
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    I have a bigger programming project in mind that requires to know HTML, CSS, C++ or PHP.
    I thinking about getting the prototyp by my own and start getting feedback for the service.
    On the other side, if I read a post like this, I think about spending a grand for a developer who create this for me.
    But MJ always speaks about CONTROL. And If you don't create this on your own you LOSE Control !!!
     
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  14. Late Bloomer
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    If your venture might be a money-maker, a thousand dollars to build the prototype will pay off. If it won't be a money-maker, a thousand dollars to discover that will save you from throwing good money after bad. If you don't already know how to use HTML and CSS for the front end, and PHP and SQL and server setup for the back end, and why C++ isn't relevant for your prototype, I recommend you pay a developer to build your prototype right now.

    Learning to program can save you from having to pay someone else, in the same way learning to fly can let you be your own pilot. But the time to learn isn't while you're already up in the air. When your contractor delivers your prototype, look through their code. Decide for yourself if it looks interesting and possible, for you, to learn how it works and how to expand on it.
     
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  15. christancho
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    Hi!
    I would say that for a non-technical person, it might be hard to learn to code... it's not only the syntax, it's the: context, servers, firewalls, networks, databases and... the bugs. It's a lot to learn.

    In my case, as a software engineer, I did ezhustle.com with what I knew, and I trained myself for some parts I didn't. Now on beta stage I'm building a team to keep what I built while pivot my focus into marketing and promotion, maybe not the best use of my time according to the books, but, I have a lot of sweat equity there and ready to grow.

    Finally, coding is not for everybody, outsourcing it is a gamble even if you have the money to afford it...

    Cheers
    Christian
     
  16. MatthewPL
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    Everybody talking about outsourcing programming to someone else...
    What if I have an idea but I don't have money for developer and knowledge to do it on my own?
    I'm living in Europe and developers are one of the highest paid profession so with my salary I can't afford one. Any advice?
     
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    In my experience, learning to be 'barely okay' at coding and web development was the key.

    And it sure as heck didn't take me 1000 hours of my time to achieve.

    The reasons I say 'barely okay', is that few things are more painful than trying to design something when you don't know how it's built, and what is and isn't possible -

    Think Architecture. The knowledge divide between architects and builders is one of the most common reasons that big construction projects balloon out in both time and cost.

    The same pain and frustration happens when working on a program, or app, or website.

    You have a notion in your head that you convey to a developer - He quotes you $10,000 - But you don't realise you could achieve a 90% as good outcome with a solution that would cost you only $1,000 with the same developer, because you just have no idea how the internals work.

    I Benefit from this all the time - My 'barely okay' coding/developing knowledge allows me to clearly convey all my needs to professional coders in a language they understand 100% - I know precisely when they're tryign to rip me off, or are dragging their feet - I know how to give them work-arounds when things are proving to be difficult to solve, and I can see an alternate way to get to the same result I need.

    THEN, when there are minor mistakes made, my 'barely okay', is almost always good enough to quickly fix it up myself without having to wait around for them.

    Learning to be 'barely okay' with coding (and then subsequently web development) was probably the best few weeks of work I've ever invested in myself. It has saved me untold money and stress. I get all the benefits of outsourcing the skill, and suffer very few of the drawbacks
     
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  18. christancho
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    Now, this is balance. Certainly we do not have to be experts (which on software development takes years to achieve) but rather, be able to narrow down an issue with a developer, be able to design a 'good enough' architecture, and, be able to measure the level of effort in order to avoid being ripped off.
     
  19. CaioSakai
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    CaioSakai New Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I get the control point here. I think we can't be the executor of all steps and the middle ground of having a basic knowledge to be able to discuss with a hired programmer is interesting to avoid simple mistakes.

    But looking into a out of box view, without knowledge about programming, can help in two ways:
    • Reframing an opportunity without prejudice from the people with the common knowledge and challenge usual limits and conventions as well.
    • Also, a programmer colleague could help you through the basics that you need to deal with a hired programmer AND keep control in your side.
    One other point, if the core of your business is not directly related to coding maybe it's better invest time in expanding that field of knowledge (excluding marketing and copy knowledge everyone is talking also. That in my opinion should be baseline for every entrepreneur)
     
  20. ChrisV
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