5 Tips for Launching a Product
If launching a product was easy, you would probably read this article through your Google search. But there is no universally effective launch plan to follow, and even the most experienced product managers often struggle to launch new products. Achieving the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a balancing act. On the one hand, you want to thoroughly validate potential failure points, but on the other hand, you want to get to market quickly. My goal with this post is not to write a rigid formula that probably won’t work for your unique business – I’ve never been interested in turning art into a science. Instead, I’ll provide some guiding principles to help you feel comfortable taking the plunge. Here are the five most valuable lessons I learned from launching a product.
Start before you are ready for launching a product
However, once you are reasonably confident that your product is delivering value to your market, launch it.Too many entrepreneurs and product managers wait until their product is absolutely “perfect” before putting it in front of customers. Of course, you naturally want to wow the market with a robust feature set and polished user interface, but waiting to reach “perfection” is a mistake. Getting your product into the hands of real users is precisely how you begin to build your knowledge base. The more time you spend creating functions based on assumptions, the more time you waste rehearsing real user reactions and behavior. For example, when I was on the team that validated the product to become GoToMeeting, we discovered the pain of the complexity and high variable cost of other online meeting solutions. We decided to launch a simpler product that was easier to budget for. It wasn’t about more features. This was to simplify the customer experience and reduce frustration.
You don’t build products. You solve frustrations
Lets see the scenario:For example, when I was on the team that validated the product to become GoToMeeting, we discovered the pain of the complexity and high variable cost of other online meeting solutions. We decided to launch a simpler product that was easier to budget for. It wasn’t about more features. This was to simplify the customer experience and reduce frustration. Lots of startups fail because they lack money. The way to get around this trap is to focus on the problem first. Invest in understanding the context in which your potential customers will use your product. What’s the most frustrating part of their day? What motivates them? What does it mean for them to have a good week/month/year? Find a strong pain point that people are willing to pay to fix this problem, and develop those additional features only after collecting your first user tests.
3.All experience is the product. while launching a productAnother common mistake that product managers and entrepreneurs make is to focus only on the application itself, instead of looking at the product holistically. A customer’s impression of your product isn’t limited to the time spent on the app. The customer experience begins the moment they click on one of your ads or find their way to your marketing website, and extends to the interactions they have with your support and sales teams. It is important to consider the customer experience as a whole. Each element of the customer journey represents an opportunity for innovation and differentiation from your competitors. Differentiators don’t always have to be featured; they can be a single pricing model, a fast onboarding experience, or superior customer support. When you launch a product, take the time to understand the entire ecosystem around it. There are probably areas of the user experience that can be simpler and more efficient. For example, how can you make it easier to find and buy your product? And what about the way you talk about your product in demos and on the marketing site? Are you clearly communicating the value proposition?
You don’t know what you don’t know.
NO, Its False.You don’t know what you don’t know, and your own assumptions can sometimes be your biggest obstacle to success. An experimental approach can help you overcome blind spots and stay ahead of the competition. New products and start-ups are ideally placed to approach problems with a beginner’s mindset. Make sure to take advantage of this advantage and experiment as much as possible to see what works best. Another problem with assumptions is that they often hold us back from doing any actual work. You may think that customers want the X feature and not the Y feature. Or you may think that message A resonates more strongly than message B. But how can you be sure? Don’t be an armchair product manager. Get out of your building and interview potential clients. Or better yet, take a look at their current processes and working environments. The truth about what will make your product successful is in the world, not in your imagination.
Start with the end in mind. while launching a product