Is it a good idea to launch a start up without a marketing plan?


My friend and I have invested $40-$50 k in a website we are launching in April. We have full time jobs but put all our savings into this project. We are done with the development phase and are currently doing bug fixes and user testing.
Questions -

  1. We do not have a marketing plan yet. Our plan is to launch the website bug free, then think about the marketing plan. We do not even know if we will start to target one city or multiple. Is this a good idea or is this the path to failure?
  2. Beta Testers - what is the best way to get users give their honest opinions on our product. Should we post on criags list that we will pay $40 - $50 an hour to users who will test our website and share their experience? Is there any website for such users?
  3. Any other comments are welcome. I apologize for not sharing the idea because it is not an exisiting one. But as Paul Graham says, execution matters, we are worried we might not be able to execute it well.


Marketing Planning Startup Costs

asked Feb 15 '12 at 04:55
24 points
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  • go read and buy the book. Since you have no clue what you're doing in terms of marketing, your plan should first be to read books. – Frenchie 12 years ago

3 Answers


Well, I think the horse is already out of the barn. The marketing plan would have come in handy before spending the $40k-$50k. But it sounds to me like you need more than a marketing plan - sounds like you need a business model. You might want to take a look at the Business Model Generation book. It will help you organize all of your strategies and perhaps come up with a better launch plan.

To answer your original question, I would not launch without a marketing plan. The reason is that you only get to launch once. This is an opportunity to build excitement and anticipation around your launch and pre-build your beta-testing list (not to mention email marketing list) before hand. Don't waste the only launch you'll ever have.

answered Feb 15 '12 at 05:22
Jon Di Pietro
1,697 points
  • Thanks Jon. I agree we had the launch opportunity just once. We did not prepare for the launch due to 2 reasons - 1) Full Time jobs plus a wife! 2) This is the main reason - the idea we have is unique. We are so afraid to share this with anyone. We know it has not been done before and just to keep it secretive we decided let us launch first. We wanted to use launch rock and other similar services to prepare for the launch.. but as I said, we feared the idea been stolen. We want to launch so that when users hear about this, it takes time to replicate. – Raj 12 years ago


It looks like you need a plan, and marketing is just a part of it. You are planning on a bug free website. I have never seen one. The biggest potential bugs you have yet to address is marketing, and testing.

As a site for potential testers, you might be able to use mechanical Turk by Amazon. Are you testing the website or the product?

answered Feb 15 '12 at 06:50
Mhoran Psprep
644 points


If you are too busy to do it yourself, why not outsource marketing to someone who has a proven track record?

With your guidance, a marketing specialist can help effectively sell your product for you.

answered Feb 17 '12 at 20:50
Jim Syyap
237 points

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