Growth May 24, 2020

Pre-Launch: When to start?

Yassine Zeriouh @yassineze

Hi guys!

I am currently working on a new project and I wanted to know from you when to actually start with a pre-launch phase (think of a basic landing page with some feature descriptions and an email signup form for everyone interested).

Right now, I am still in an early stage as I still have to figure out some things about the UI and functionality.

What did you do for your pre-launch phase? When did you start?

  1. 2

    As soon as possible and do this in two ways: 1.) Set up your landing page 2.) Start writing content related to your product. I screwed up on #2 and am kicking myself for it.

    @robwalling (of MicroConf, Drip) has a good post that talks about this that's worth reading: https://robwalling.com/2010/10/14/startup-marketing-part-6-why-you-should-start-marketing-the-day-you-start-coding/

    1. 2

      That post is 10 years old, but the concepts still hold up. I’ve continued to build on this idea of starting marketing the day you start coding. Here are a couple podcast episodes where we dig into ways to build your launch list once you have a landing page:

      https://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/episodes/episode-72-8-tactics-for-building-your-pre-launch-mailing-list

      https://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/episodes/episode-152-strategies-for-loading-up-your-pre-launch-email-lists

  2. 1

    Hey. I believe you've already gotten some great insights on how to launch. But here's my 2 cents. I've launched over 3 projects & for each used a different strategy (development + launch) I must say the one that worked by far was before launching anything or even validating the idea, I made sure that my idea is "good enough". So in my case, I brainstorm a couple of ideas, narrow the list down to the top 3. Then choose the best. The process of choosing the "best" is time-consuming and requires patience, that being said, you need to validate against many numbers (market size, saturation, etc...) - for more details you can refer to this amazing article by Justin Jackson (https://justinjackson.ca/good-ideas)

    Now that you have a great idea, you want to map out all the MVP details you want to ship - the MVP is supposed to be usable (core features implemented). There are many strategies that help with launch and by far one of the best is having a following. If you don't have this luxury you can always share on platforms like IH, ask for pple's opinion (little tip: you can always link back to your website/twitter account/blog post -> to build your subscription list)

    But most importantly, I believe you need to talk to users! I mean, I can't' stress this one enough. Once you "launch" (given the fact that you can launch multiple times) you need to hop on a call with your users & ask for their feedback, people are willing to help when you ask :)

    Good luck!

  3. 1

    As others said, I also would recommend to pre launch as soon as possible. Add a form so users can get notified when you launch, this is a good way to validate your idea and see if people are interested.

    What are you building?

  4. 1

    Hi @yassineze. I think you should just pre launch as soon as possible and begin to get feedback on your MVP. So many times in the past I tried to get things perfect before launching and it just leads to stagnancy. At least if you launch your MVP you can begin to validate your idea. Then you can capture a few emails and begin talking to people to really figure out their problem and if you are solving it effectively. You can then continue to refine your offering and MVP with the more people you speak with! Hope this helps.

  5. 1

    I pre-launched before I built anything. I literally put up a landing page with a signup form and only work half of my time on my product. The other half of my time I contribute to communities which lead to traffic for my website. This way you know way earlier if there's interest in your idea.

    What's your idea? :)