First Product Launch - help!


I'm hoping to launch my first product of my first start-up in the month or so (New Year time-frame). Any advice as to how to avoid problems and get it out there quickly, easily and effectively? What has worked for you - and what mistakes would you hope I could avoid?

Getting Started Launch Products

asked Nov 27 '09 at 19:15
Alistair Collins
181 points

2 Answers


Good advice will be tailored to the specific product in question (mobile device apps from the other thread?) but generally:

1) Anticipate where bottlenecks may occur down the distribution, marketing, sales, or product support line. Have employees and resources available to alleviate these bottlenecks should they occur.

2) Test every one of your distribution nodes as much as possible under time-sensitive conditions. Run this drill with some "test products" and volunteer customers (these can be friends or acquaintances) without marketing your real product or risking your company's reputation.

3) Assume you've run into a worst-case scenario (i.e. your distribution server crashed) and test your standard operating procedures (SOP) for handling such a scenario. If you don't have a SOP, then it's a good time to draft one!

answered Nov 27 '09 at 19:52
Henry The Hengineer
4,316 points


Some of the things processes that I always have in place when launching a new product is:

  1. Have one person or multiple people in-charge of the product launch, depending on the size of the launch. It is critical that one person takes full responsibility for the overall launch.
  2. If you are planning to launch near the end of the year start building buzz. Tweet about the features of the product, blog about the problem you are wanting to solve, get some individuals to test your product pre launch and provide testimonials or their thoughts. Ideally you should get someone really popular or well known in your niche to test drive the product/service and hopefully convert them into a word of mouth ambassador. You could also use the gmail or google wave limited invite system.
  3. Be careful not to over hype your product or infer to functionalities that it may not have in the first iteration. Be clear as to what your problem your product/service is going to solve and some of the key features of the system. This is essential because regardless of how much hype you create if your system doesn't live up to expectations, gathering traction is going to be very difficult.
  4. Record everything meticulously. Depending on what sort of product you are launching, attach metrics to each process. If you are running a web service, track how your customers are coming to the website, how long average registration is taking, where they are navigating on your website, etc. Track google alerts, twitter and other social media tools to see if anyone is talking about your service. All of this information is vital for tweaks and upgrades.
  5. Give your users to provide feedback to you as simply as you can. This could be feedback buttons from sites like Getsatisfaction or it could be online support through chat windows on the website. If possible to fill out a short survey on your website. Incentivize the survey through a prize, a life long free account or something that is of value to your users.

I think Henry has some very valid points based on testing your distribution points under stress as well as running worst case scenario's.

Best of luck with your product launch.

answered Nov 27 '09 at 22:37
Usman Sheikh
1,728 points

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