You’ve set you eyes on a worthwhile goal, but you don’t know how big it is at first.
It’s like wanting to run a marathon, without realizing that your habits will need to change, you’ll need to run every day, it will take a while to build up the strength and endurance, your diet will have to change, and you’ll probably want to run smaller races first.
You see the success other startups have by just launching — and it turns into a BIG LAUNCH — without seeing how much work went on behind the scenes for them to get to the point of launching.
Let’s cover the big fears:
“My product isn’t good enough to launch. It doesn’t live up to my marketing. People will either be disappointed by using it or not know how to use it.”
- This is most likely a valid fear. Devs often spend 99% of their time building out core features instead of making it easy for people to sign up, understand what the product is, and get started using it. They usually burn themselves out building a huge, gorgeous product and have no energy left to actually make it look nice from the outside.
“My product doesn’t have good marketing. When people see it, they won’t get excited by it and what it can do for them. They won’t understand how cool it is.”
- If you spend your time making a 100% rock-solid product that’s beautiful both inside and out, that’s a gargantuan task. But an entirely different, but just as important gargantuan task is making sure people understand what’s exciting about it and stepping them through it step by step. When you rush through and build the product all at once, you don’t pause to get feedback about each step or each feature and see what people really like about it. So then your marketing sucks when you launch and it feels too late to improve it because you’ve already built it all.
“My product launch will flop because I don’t have the right audience. I spent all my time building and not talking to my potential audience, so none of them know it exists. When I launch to my audience, almost none of them will care or want to pay for this particular product because I either don’t have much of an audience or most of them are in a different market than my product was built for.”
- I’ve made this mistake before. It’s mind-numbing how hard this is to overcome and how obvious it should have been to you as you were building. I personally expected the market to just find me once I had the perfect solution for them. Only after spending 3 years building a product did I realize I now had to spend an equal amount of time building up an audience to market it to.
It’s like a beautiful mirage that looks gorgeous and makes you think: “I could do that!” but then, when you actually try to do it and you go to click that LAUNCH button, you realize you’re missing something. And then you work on it and come back a week later and realize you’ve missed something else.
Each thing feels small at first, but over time they pile up into years of work. And suddenly it’s 2-3 years after you planned to launch and you still haven’t launched yet.
But what you don’t realize is that launching is the first step. You don’t learn until you launch. You need to be launching from DAY 1 in order to build up enough knowledge, feedback, and traction to have a successful big launch.