Friday, January 6, 2012

Don't Advertise

For years Google didn't run any ads on TV, in magazines, radio or anywhere. Probably for at least the first 5 years of their existence. This was a deliberate choice. They knew that their search engine was getting better and better. Tomorrow it would be better than it is today, and next week even better than tomorrow.

So since the first time someone used the search engine would set that person's first impression, they reasoned that it was better for someone to use it for the first time in the future than it was today. Better to have them not come today, but come tomorrow. Even better for a first time user to come next week than tomorrow. So the further in the future you came to use them for the first time, the more you would like it.

Advertising, asking people to come today, would lead people to have a not-as-good expeirence their first time. So, they didn't advertise and counted on, preferred, that people come later, when they were better, more ready for the audience.

Many things improve with time, get better with each iteration. If something you are doing is such a thing, consider not advertising. While getting a crowd to show up on day one might feed the ego, pacify investors or otherwise sound like a good idea, a better idea may be to be glad people haven't come in droves today. Keep working to delight those that may come tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and so on. No advertising is sometimes the best advertising.

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