As the title says
Hey @flips. This is a great question. I have run into the issue in the past of creating projects that never gained traction because I failed to build community and really connect with initial customers. Your first customers and community will really help to set the foundation for your product in the long run. @8bit is a large believer of Community first, product second! I think it is definitely important to build your community presence in line with (if not before) product.
+1 to that! amen. and amen.
To turn this on its head slightly...
If you haven't been engaged with your audience and talking closely with at least a few of them, what makes you think you've built something useful enough for your audience to want to discover it in the first place/
From the little experience (2 startups) I have, I'd say no. Starting entrepreneurs have the idea that once they launch something or put up a website, all traffic magically appears.
Unfortunately, the reality is different. Even when you are developing the next Facebook your website won't rank high yet in Google search results. This is because your website has no credibility yet according to Google so you must build that first.
You must actively recruit your first customers but also your first visitors. Building bridges from one website/community to your own website is key here.
So my advice would be, go hang around in communities that you actually like. This way you can provide value for them in a more natural way and people will visit your website for it.
always a chance, but, why leave it just to chance? right?
I had ZERO for all my ideas.
Then I build a community from there.
One of them even became one of the popular ones in its niche.
Everyone can do it; It's not tough.
People have to find out about it somehow, but that somehow could look a lot like sales. Marketing helps pull people toward your solution, sales can be a way to push your solution to the people. I've never worked on a project that was magically discovered without doing some sort of lift, but it's also never been that big of an issue for me as I made sure to base anything I build off of customer discovery.
Why wouldn't be there a chance?
This is something that I have been wondering too! Following this thread :)