When you’re going from 0-1 as a startup, the question is value. How valuable is that thing you’re building? It’s a frenzied dance of iterating, showing, iterating, showing, turning heads, and holding back for the upcoming finale.
If people came to your non-existent, early-stage product from expensive ads, then gave their email for promising and beautiful graphics and landing pages that weren’t substantiated by value, you’ll have tricked yourself. It’s easy to believe you’re onto something valuable because people say it looks great.
But it’s the words, the product, the value itself that you need to validate during this stage. “My idea, plus marketing dollars, will succeed” is different than “My idea will succeed, now let’s add marketing dollars!”