Avoid Premature Product Launch
Why Not To Launch Now
Many start-ups ask blogger Eric Ries, when they should launch. His frequent reply is, “don’t.”
Ries believes that the launch is a combination of two actions. The first is the product announcement, PR, and buzz. The second is making the product available to the public.
According to Ries, doing both of these things at once is a bad idea for a start-up. Reis borrows advice from “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” and writes about what a marketing launch should do and why it often fails for start-ups.
A marketing launch should:
- Drive customers into your sales pipeline. This fails for start-ups because it is a onetime event and does not translate into “renewable customers.”
- Establish credibility with potential partners. If you do not know who those partners are, or how to communicate with them, you are not ready to launch.
- Help raise money. VC’s expect traction when they see PR. A lame launch may cost you the capital you need.
Ries also explains additional launch ripple effects. Many start-ups fail to take these into consideration.
- Launching sets your positioning. It takes time to know how you want your company to be positioned. Launch too soon and you will end up spending time and money on clean up later.
- You must understand your business model, and know how you will drive growth. Tweak the product before the launch!
- You do not get a second chance to launch! Be patient and do it right the first time.
Start-ups usually rush to synchronize the marketing launch with the product launch due to pressure from investors, pressure from founders, and fear of an accidental launch.
In the full, thoughtful (and lengthy) post, Ries also explains how a start-up can know when to market launch and when to product launch. If you are ready to launch, read this first. It could save you a lot of redo and regret.
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