Steve Blank explains that getting publicity or press too soon can skew your thinking regarding your product. He advises that feedback from real customers is critically more important than press coverage from tech blogs or other type of PR.
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Steve Blank Don’t Seek Publicity Too Soon Transcript
Any of you read TechCrunch, all right? Maybe you read some other blogs. What’s another good technology blog? Venture, and Gadget, et cetera. Isn’t it cool if like, you’d start your company, the first thing you do is like, TechCrunch mentions you? Wouldn’t that be the coolest thing ever? I’ve got to tell you if I’m on your advisory board or board, I’ll break your arms. You go “whoa, whoa, what’s that about?” Why would I say something like that?
For me any type of press, any type of PR, any type of talking about your company is not done over here because on day one your hypothesis about what your company’s about, what service you’re offering, what pricing, what whatever … trust me, it will be radically different after you have some contact with customers. And while it might make you feel good being able to show your mother or father a picture of you in the press or a mention, I’ll do that for free. I’ll take your picture. We’ll hold up the New York Times, and then we’ll send it to your parents. But I’d rather any press you get for a company is part of a strategy, not a random tactic. That’s typically done after you’ve understood what business you’re in, who your customers are, and how do you need to scale demand for your company.
There is a place for PR, but that’s only after a product has found a market. Before product/market fit, any PR is just fodder, a distraction, and can skew our thinking – believing that our product is better than it is.