Marketing isn’t valued by startups because it’s too often seen as the antithesis of “Product.” Startups are often engineering cultures — cults of product — and somewhere along the way engineers got the impression marketing was a coat of paint slapped onto a product after it rolled off the assembly line. VC Fred Wilson gave voice to this powerful mis-conception more artfully than most:
This narrow view of marketing — that it’s something that happens to a product after it’s done, rather than something that bends a product toward the market as it develops — is the culprit here.
The phenomenon has advanced to the point where Steve Blank felt compelled to coin another term for the latter function: “Customer Development.”
Ask startup engineers if they think that’s important, and most will say sure. Just don’t call it marketing, and nobody will get hurt.