Marketers and designers will be quick to tell you that marketing and design are critical to the success of any venture.
That’s why it’s so sad/disturbing/surprising/wonderful to discover that so many successful ventures were created by amateurs. Yes, they were professionals at something (coding, perhaps, or raising money or managing or even selling) but the marketing and design was not created by a ‘professional’.
The list is long, and runs from the Boy Scouts to Google, from Nike to the New York Yankees.
One possible lesson is that marketing is easy.
The other, more likely lesson is that marketing is way too important to be left to professionals. Every person is a marketer, and anyone crazy enough and passionate enough to start something is definitely a marketer. It’s not great programming that turns one Net company into a success while another flounders. More often than not, it’s about how good a job the amateur running the marketing and design did.