Product Launches and Emotions

Posted on April 25, 2013

I was reading the great post by Vidhu Norby called Don’t Launch Your Product that included a single paragraph that really resonated with me.

The fact is that when you create the big launch event, you will always see the subsequent big drop-off. Your market is not TechCrunch readers and Mark Zuckerberg does not want to eat vegetable tempura rolls with you. If you plan for massive scale out of the gate, you will face disappointment and a morale drain that can kill your company. And unlike a lot of other problems that you face in the startup world, learning this lesson the hard way can cost you your startup right at the outset.

The key element here is the inevitable connection that founders have between the product and their emotions.  It is inevitable because the founders have created something from nothing and you will always have a strong emotional connection when that happens.  However, it is important for founders to understand when and how their emotions are holding them back.

We all know that this is business and that we should be rationale about the work that we are doing.  The best entrepreneurs are those who leverage passion to incent themselves and their team to create something amazing.  However, it is the same set of emotions that discourages founders from launching their product.  It discourages them from getting the incredibly valuable feedback that comes from putting a product in front of customers.  It discourages them from taking the final step to show the world what they built because in their eyes it isn’t finished yet.  It will never be finished yet.  It will never be good enough.

When the founder gathers the necessary courage to make that leap, they look back questioning what took them so long to launch.  It isn’t as scary as you fear.  My advice is to remove the emotion from it and start small.  Don’t rely on the huge launch event for your product.  Just start rolling it out from alpha to beta to release and gather momentum as you go.  It will be easier on your emotions and increase your chances of success.

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