launching in about a week. what to prepare?


1

So finally, I have been able to successfully fix all the bugs and issues with my SaaS startup.

Any guidance on what I should be preparing ? I know, I should've released early, but the lean startup model was deemed unsuitable for the industry I am in (need accuracy, and high quality first impression). Additionally, because of the bugs, I have been uncertain of the final deadline.

So, the grueling 2 years of research and development have produced first working beta software. I am proud of my accomplishment so far but I know the next half will be really tough: handling clients and satisfying their expectations.

I have started a small scale SaaS 2 years ago just to shut it down because I couldn't handle the "heat" from clients. Complaints about software not working correctly and threats about refunding, chargebacks etc. I've learned some things from this experience and decided to really take time in improving quality that I've neglected getting the word out there.

Well, I've sent an email about my beta a year ago to my leads and clients I have had from my past consulting work. I know that I should've kept in touch with them but I am thinking of hitting them up again to tell them that my beta services are now open.

I'm giddy with excitement but have some stressful phobia of the work ahead.

I'm looking for any advice, guides, blogs, strategies etc.

Launch

asked Jan 25 '11 at 20:47
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Kim Jong Woo
644 points

6 Answers


3

Expect that launching is the first step, not the last.

I'm not saying that you don't.

Depending on how large your initial user base is, expect them to try in briefly, walk away and you not understanding why. It's dreadful. But with good hard work you'll pull them back in.

You need to quickly find people who've tried it, connect with them and understand everything you need to improve. Expect there to be a lot, and be prepared to kill your darlings.

I may sound negative, but I'm not. This is the most exiting time, because you get to do something real. It's also very hard, but hard is fun!

Best of luck!

answered Jan 26 '11 at 02:11
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John Sjölander
2,082 points
  • Launching is like pooping. You still have to wipe, so its not the last step. Wiping is messy, but pooping is a lot more stressful, messy, and harder to do (depending on what you are pooping out). So +1 for great advice, but once you launch, and you get your first few customers (validation!) things start to get a lot easier, (even if they are still hard things to do). – Frank 7 years ago
  • @Frank you just won the "worst metaphor ever" award :) – The Dictator 7 years ago
  • you are most welcome. I used to be in the Auto Business. So that explains my potty mouth. – Frank 7 years ago

2

Get prepared to buy yourself a Lamborghini.

answered Jan 25 '11 at 22:41
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Frank
2,079 points
  • this made me lol. – Kim Jong Woo 7 years ago
  • I think you really should reward yourself. Even if its smaller than a car for now. The reason is that most people look at a SAAs startup and assume you put it together in 2 weeks Time. They dont consider the planning, coding, debugging, functions, logging, and other bricks it takes to build an app. A 2 year app for a startup is reasonable unless if you are building another crappy url shortener service. I am hoping that after all your sweat it will really pay off for you. If it doesnt, keep at it, it will. Keep tuning it up as you go. And when your rich, buy yourself a lambo! – Frank 7 years ago
  • I have to agree with Frank. Taking time to celebrate is IMPORTANT. Too often I've been nailing a milestone just to quickly move onto the next important thing on my list of priorities. That's not good. Take you time, or time will take you. – John Sj√∂lander 7 years ago
  • Thank you guys for the word of encouragement! You speak the truth. – Kim Jong Woo 7 years ago
  • @Frank, Lambo, that is my goal! – Kim Jong Woo 7 years ago
  • I encourage material goals. Material goals are different than other goals because they are in fact material. As business owners, money is a simple way for us to measure our success. But money alone is sometimes not good enough. With respect to discipline, proper re-investment, and focusing on your business, you have to always keep in mind that life is too fucking short, so make sure you reward yourself, specially when you can use those rewards as trophies for your hard work, symbols of your success or even as ways to keep yourself motivated. – Frank 7 years ago

1

Do a soft launch. . . seriously, no need to rush

answered May 9 '11 at 04:02
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Zkidd
26 points

1

As zkidd recommended go for soft launch. The word launch is a bunch of actions tied together over multiple days. Unless you have an army of people who could all do it for you on the day of the launch, just make a list and perform the actions each single day.

For e.g

  1. Send email to your beta users, offer them steep discount. This should get initial revenue rolling
  2. Send email to bloggers with a demo account credentials or a give away for their readers
  3. send press release

and so on.
Find each and every place where you can shout and do it over the period of several days.

answered May 9 '11 at 06:46
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Nilesh
420 points
  • I chose this answer because it has specific steps that I can actually execute right now. – Kim Jong Woo 7 years ago

0

A blog you may find useful is quicksprout.com.

answered Jan 26 '11 at 06:51
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Kenneth Vogt
2,917 points

0

Read this, I wish I had before our beta :)

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/BetaTest.html From my personal experience (after a fairly successful beta)

  • Take it slow
  • Make good connections (After more than a year I still in touch with many beta testers and some of them still gives insanely good feedback)
  • Give free stuff (t-shirts, license, physical thank you letters etc.)
  • Manager expectations correctly, let them know this is beta and can blow up their browsers, can kill random kittens in the street
answered Jan 26 '11 at 21:56
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The Dictator
2,305 points
  • should you charge for beta use or eat the cost yourself? Are beta testers willing to pay a discounted price? – Kim Jong Woo 7 years ago
  • No way, I think you shouldn't even think about charging. We did beta for a product that originally cost ~$2.5K and we didn't charge on top of that we gave away free 1 year license all useful beta testers. Consider that most of these guys will be your clients anyway. So just give them a free good beta and when they hooked at the end of it, charge them with a discount. – The Dictator 7 years ago

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