I have launched products before, and had shut them down, too, because of poor launch and shipping of the product. With the successful launch of Gaurilla, I would like to list three common mistakes that I did earlier, and you shouldn’t do. Whether you have a MVP to be shipped or you are just thinking about the idea, these will be valuable to you.
1. Shipping too late
I am very sure that, if you read books or blogs (which you definitely should), you must have heard, “Ship Early, Ship Often,” a lot of times. You hear it a lot because it is right. Let me give you the reason. Entrepreneurs are the breed who completely squeeze out every resource they have – even their own mind and body.
We come with limited supply of motivation and if that dies out, the product dies too. Building the product sitting in the building won’t help you refill your motivation stock. The best way an entrepreneur can stay motivated is by knowing that people out there are using what his startup is building. Also, the feedback that comes from early users is both constructive and critical – both of which results in development of a great and usable product. You don’t want to build something no one will use, so get your product out, talk to people and build something they will use.
2. Not collecting emails before launch
You don’t want to be the startup that builds a great product but not the curious audience who await the launch.
The first thing that you should do when you begin thinking about the idea is to put up a landing page out to collect email ids. What this does is that it validates your idea. You don’t have to wait for weeks to ship a product only to know that there is no audience to give your product a try. And just telling your Facebook friends about the product release isn’t exactly launching.
As I give you enough reasons why “Invisibility is far worse than failure,” the last thing you would want to do is to stay invisible before launch.
3. Not exploiting their curiosity
This is the part where we do all the dirty things. Just collecting email ids won’t ensure that they will wait for your product eagerly, until you give them enough reasons to. I would suggest you to assume your users to be the dumbest people with shortest memory span. People surf Internet with 20 tabs open at any given moment, and now that’s the problem for you, an entrepreneur, to stay on their mind.
And the best way to do it is to make them curious.
Curiosity is devil for human mind – the same little devil that keeps an entrepreneur awake at nights.
You shouldn’t send them just one email on the launch day yelling, “We have launched.” No.
Instead, send them at least 2 – 3 emails (with reasonable gap between them) including some offer or a teaser about X feature in your product. Keep in mind not to send them an email every day before launch – just enough emails to keep them curious without pissing them off.
These were the three things that I learned from my epic launch failures and have helped us launch Gaurilla successfully to hundreds of people.
About the guest author
Mohit Mamoria is Founder & CEO of Owlgrin, the company behind Gaurilla. With the fresh experience from the launch of cloud accounting app for startups, he shares three common launch mistakes that can and should be avoided.