Stop Being Scared About Launching Your Product
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
You’ve poured your heart, your soul, your blood, sweat and tears into your product. It’s been on your mind for years, and months have been dedicated to making your vision come to life. You’re in the home stretch, ready to launch – and you keep making excuses on why the product isn’t ready yet. Does this sound familiar? Perhaps, this is you?
This is one of the most common dilemmas that we face with our clients at Chop Dawg. I call it the launching fatigue. You’ve spent thousand of hours focused on your product, testing your product, picking apart every single little detail about it that is right, that is wrong, that is flawed, and that is perfect. I’m going to cut right to the chase here – just launch. If your product is working, don’t even think twice.
You’ll often find that most individuals, understandably, want to launch the most perfect product right at the get-go. They have had a strong vision of exactly what their product needs to be, how it needs to behave, and what it needs to do. However, what happens is, as a product gets closer to launching, this standard or the bar, that you need your product to be rises, and most people do not even catch this happening. This is total bull-crap. Not that having a high standard is not good, but I am going to share the facts with you here – everyday individuals are not insanely obsessed with the individual details of your idea; they won’t even notice the areas that you feel need improvement. I am serious. The small details that you are losing sleep over will make virtually no impact to the immediate success (or failure) of your new product. Shocking, I know.
It makes sense if you really think about it. As an entrepreneur, we obsess with our ideas and want to see it exactly as it is envisioned. In fact, we’re often fifty steps ahead of where the current version of our products are currently situated. It’s just the nature of the game. The issue is, for most entrepreneurs, especially first time entrepreneurs, you get too caught up in this and let the emotion hurt you and keep you from launching – just to validate your idea.
So what is the proper launching strategy? Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn and one of the first employees of PayPal, says it best with his famous quote, “If you’re not embarrassed with the first version of your product, you’ve probably already launched too late.” You need to get it out there to know that people will use it and to see how people react. You need to understand the difference, most importantly, between a mission critical bug vs. a small item that can be tackled after launch.
What is a mission critical bug? Think of this as an item that doesn’t function, which prevents your product from behaving as intended. Without this functioning, your product does not provide the value it was intended, and therefore, it cannot be validated nor work. This is a major item that should be focused on before launch. The issue, though, is the other side of the spectrum with small items. Let’s say this item is that you cannot use the ‘remember me’ functionality in your login field, or perhaps the ‘welcome email’ isn’t working. Small things, right? They do not break your product. At the end of the day, they make no difference to validating your idea – yet for most of you reading, these things will prevent you from launching, often for weeks or months. Stop that.
As an entrepreneur, you are never done making your product better. Realize that small items can always be tackled with users on your product in real-time. Realize that new ideas and ways to tweak your product to make it better, improving the user experience and functionality, will always be on the top of your mind. That is exactly the mindset that you need. Just don’t be naïve. Learn the difference between an item that should prevent you from launching vs. small items that won’t make a difference on day one (or any new launch of a feature of that matter). It will make a difference to your users, your tractions, your early adaption and most importantly – your bottom line.