- There is this scene in the classic Mel Brooks movie Spaceballs where Lone Starr and Yogurt talk about merchandising. (Pilfered from the relevant Wikiquote article)
- Lone Starr: Yogurt. What is this place? What is it that you do here?
- Yogurt: Merchandising.
- Barf: Merchandising? What’s that?
- Yogurt: Merchandising. Come! I’ll show you. [to the Dinks] Open up the store
- [Yogurt walks over to a wall filled with Spaceballs merchandise.]
- Yogurt: Merchandising! Merchandising! Where the real money from the movie is made! Spaceballs: the T-shirt, Spaceballs: the Coloring Book, Spaceballs: the Lunchbox, Spaceballs: the Breakfast Cereal. Spaceballs: the Flame Thrower… [fires a short blast from flame thrower]
- Dinks: Oooooohhhh!
- Yogurt: The kids love this one. And last, but not least, Spaceballs: the doll, me.
- [Yogurt squeezes the doll, which says "May the Schwartz be with you!"]
- Yogurt: Adorable.
What made me think of this was Andy Abramson’s post on why some innovations don’t make it. It boils down to one thing: marketing, or lack thereof.
Most technical people I know aren’t great marketers. I, myself, couldn’t market my way out of a paper bag. That being said, I also know that about myself and, if placed in a situation where I would need marketing, I’d pay someone else to do it–someone who knew how to do it. And marketing isn’t cheap.
I’m not sure I could add anything to what Andy said here. Go read Andy’s post. It’s well worth the time.