Problem Marketing

Keith Hayden
6 min readJan 22, 2024

If you build it, they will come.”

This quote made famous in the movie Field of Dreams (1989) was something I heard a lot growing up. (though the actual quote was “If you build it, he will come.”)

It often came up in the context of doing something that had never been done before. In other words, doing the thing despite doubt and fear. A call to have faith in your actions and God’s steady hand. It’s a feel-good saying.

Problem is it doesn’t work anymore. 1989 is not 2024.

Just because you build something doesn’t mean anyone will come to it. It damn sure doesn’t mean they will like or even appreciate your effort.

I know this well.

I spent 3 years producing an audiodrama version of my military science-fiction novel Cereus & Limnic. While I have managed to attract over 21K listeners to the show, it was after pouring thousands of hours and dollars into bringing it to life.

In 2024, the quote should read something like:

If you build it, they probably won’t come, unless you invest a lot of resources to make it happen.

A little cynical, but absolute truth.

For this reason, I’m focusing more attention less on what I make and more on how I talk about what…