Today I spent some time thinking about the difference between how engineers works vs. the marketing / growth teams.
This might be over-generalisations or only applicable in our company, but there is a difference between the general approach to work.
Btw, this only applies to startups that have established product-market fit.
I see it like this. Engineers are playing defence while marketing is offence. Meaning that engineers that are building critical parts of the business have to think longer, strategic moves and triple-check. If anything breaks, it takes down all users. Like a goalie in a sport. If the goals fucks up, the other team scores a goal.
Marketing on the other hand, is offence. Much more low-risk. It’s okay if you drop the ball. There is still defence. The job of marketing is to keep pushing forward, experiment, try new things and fuck things up. Hopefully some of those experiments will work out
This is on the micro, day-to-day operations. Long-term, everything is much more strategic and has to be thought through…can’t experiment by definition.
I wonder if this different approach to getting things done on daily basis creates friction between teams. We don’t have a problem with it, but being aware of the other approach and more empathetic really helps.
The typical case is when I want to try a new system, let’s say for email. Engineers will want to think long and hard before implementing any one system, of course…it takes a lot of time to implement. I would prefer to use each system for a week and then make my decision.. In this particular case you could use Zapier and Segment..but you get the point.
it might also be personality difference, not necessarily occupational…but personality will shape your occupational choice to an extend so it does have an effect.