I've seen a gap in a niche for a SaaS product that I know that there will be a demand for. I'm currently working on developing my MVP to launch as soon as possible and am wondering when the best time to launch my landing page might be. I'm currently ~6 months away from launching my MVP but don't want to start promoting my landing page gathering potential customers in case it falls in front of the eyes of some competition with a team/funding that might be able to piece together and launch my product before I've finished development.
On the flip side, the sooner I can start taking emails/contact info, the more potential customers I'll have to contact come launch day.
I may well be answering my own question here, but strategically, when is the best time for me to setup the landing page? Too soon means exposing my idea to competition, or risk having customers forget or not need my product when development is complete, too late and I might as well have just launched the full product.
Should I wait until an amount of time before development is complete that no competition could possibly create a competing product within, so I can get stuck into the sales process with my target market with a working product relatively quickly?
How fast could a well funded team of experts get such a product to market?
When you know, hand on heart, that you can and will be ready to start fulfilling orders in significantly less time (say 80% of that time) then you are ready to start promoting it. Generally this is going o be when you are testing the product in house. Sometimes the announcement of the limited public beta test is the time to be ready with a landing page and all the bells and whistles as the Beta is going to shake things up and (if done right) generate a whole heap of free publicity.
Once the word (and idea) is out you have started a count down and must be ready to go before it gets to zero. Zero is when the me-too products start coming out.
If you have seen the gap others might have too. Big corporations are slower to get to market but you may be in a race you are unaware of.
Best of luck with your project. It sounds exciting.
I think you're more than 6 months away so I recommend you start the landing page when you've got your MVP working, not before. Then, you can take 3 months to beta test your product, make inevitable improvements, create the commercial front-end and implement billing, all while collecting emails from your landing page. Don't confuse the technical launch with the commercial launch.
The right time to crate a landing page is yesterday.
There's a a number of issues related to building an presence as well as setting customer expectations. I think you'll find an intersting discussion on this topic here:
Do I launch website now or wait for my application to be v1.0? Bottom line: earlier is almost always better.