Features vs marketing

Bootstrapped founders constantly argue what’s more important: better features or better marketing. I’d say neither. What then?

Ana Bibikova
3 min readJun 22, 2022


A courtesy of https://twitter.com/dagorenouf

I’d say, more important is a better product. But not in a sense you might expect it to be better — meaning, more advanced, sophisticated, with a better UX design or thought-through onboarding.

It just has to be more relevant to a specific group of people who have a specific problem and they are ready to solve it in a specific way. That’s it. This is my definition of better and I have gathered multiple proofs from my conversations with successful and failed founders (Read more on How to niche down your product offer).

A 1-minute quick guide on building a better product

When you’re in the ideation stage you have certain assumptions and hypotheses about your future customers. Embrace this as your a rule of thumb:

Test your assumptions and hypotheses before building anything

For example, you are planning to build a product that would create city guides on demand. What assumptions and beliefs this idea is built upon? You believe there are solo travelers who value authentic experience and struggle with planning a trip to another city because whatever they get on TripAdvisor is mostly “50-year-old rambles”. Moreover, you believe that they struggle enough to pay someone to do all the planning for them. Why do you have this strong belief? But of cause, because you have the same feelings. You are personally frustrated every time you travel somewhere.

What should you do? Start building? No way!

Step 1. Find audience

Find people who are like you (solo, authentic experience lovers) and ask them about their last trip planning experinece. What exactly did they do? How long did it take? What tools did they use? Where and how did they look for different solutions? (Read here What other questions to ask during a customer interview).

Step 2. Self-test

Interview yourself. Answer the same questions you have asked these people and record the…



Ana Bibikova

Marketing strategist, startups mentor, co-founder in www.wizenguides.com