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