30
35 Comments

The launch of your product isn't this magical event...

[Disclaimer: personal opinion & maybe hard truth 🙈]

As me and my team launched our SaaS survey platform over a year ago, we thought about the launch of the product in this magical way where the world finally sees what we've built and everyone just uses our product because they waited so long for exactly this and the press goes crazy all over the internet...in our heads this was such a great event coming up.

But unfortunately this was not what happened. We finished all the programming, deployed the app, send out LinkedIn posts, emails to friends and everyone we knew; and waited in front of our computers for the first customers.

Two people signed up for our products free plan that day but for us it seemed like nobody really cared.

After this initial launch it took us a more than a few months to get in touch with more and more potential customers, eventually converted them to users of our platform and paying customers and improved the platform every day.
In hindsight the launch wasn't this special event where everything goes crazy like we imagined it. It maybe even was the most unspectacular part of the whole journey that started afterwards.

And talking with many others founders this was not only the case with our product but seems to be the normal reaction when you launch your product. The hard truth: the launch is not special.

And it doesn't need to be. Don't compare your launch with the launch-events of big corporations like the presentation of the new iPhone. In the startup world it's different. Do you remember the launch of Twitter? YouTube? Facebook?

Building a startup is finding out what product your customers need that solves their problem and how much they are willing to pay for that solution. And the launch is only the necessary part of starting that journey of exploration, testing, improving and getting better every day. And when you see that your few customers start getting crazy about your product: You can do a separate press launch to tell more people.

So maybe the first launch isn't this special moment you worked for so long; but it is special in a way that it starts an even more exiting journey. So if you haven't launched yet: Launch now, expect no reaction from the world and start working on your own amazing startup journey!

  1. 7

    IMO "Launches" are largely for internet "gurus" that hype up that they made $x,xxx,xxx on the day their eBook launched.

    Awesome writeup here and I 100% agree. We called ours a "soft launch" as to not set the expectations too high at the beginning ha! It's a much better perspective too as rarely do new SaaS products (or businesses in general) get a big influx of users on day 1. It takes a lot of sweat equity over a long period of time to really build up a successful SaaS.

    1. 2

      Interesting, you should say that. I have been watching your progress from afar and was impressed with your product hunt launch, especially the ramp-up and the activity on launch day.

      But then, I guess there is never an endpoint in a business. In hindsight, there is always something you could have done better. Or the goalpost has moved, and you need to keep up and build upon the momentum you have going.

      1. 1

        I guess there is never an endpoint in a business. In hindsight, there is always something you could have done better. Or the goalpost has moved, and you need to keep up and build upon the momentum you have going.

        Good word! And thanks for following the progress!

        The thing is too, that some businesses will move faster than others. Removaly has been moving faster than others I've done in the past, but regardless of how fast you feel yours is moving, keep at it. Do the best with what you have and continue to improve. Also, when the time is right to sell what you have and move onto a bigger/better thing, do it. And always look for advice/feedback/insight from others along the way.

        All the best,

        1. 1

          Also, when the time is right to sell what you have and move onto a bigger/better thing, do it.

          Are you talking about an exit here? Is this the most common way you have moved on to a new project in the past? Cheers man!

    2. 1

      I love it. A soft launch is a very good way to reframe it.

  2. 2

    consistency is the name of the game

  3. 2

    Couldn't agree with this more.

    As a maker, I couldn't give a fuck about a launch. Upvotes won't pay my rent, but finding paying customers will.

    I could think of a million better ways to spend the time more effectively than preparing a theatrical launch.

  4. 2

    Thanks for sharing.

    I actually launched with about 0 preparation. As a result, I got almost no interest in my product 😄. I do feel like there is a sweet spot and after reading some very good launch guides on this community, I would do more if I could do it again (can I? 🤔🤨😄).

    That being said, I don't really have any regret. I knew launching was just the beginning of the journey and I didn't want to expect anything from it. The thing with launches is that they can almost paralyze you into never launching, so I chose the "just do it" approach. I did it just to put myself out there and to start building and improving my product.

    If you view the launch as a destination, I think you're in for some trouble. Launching is just the start.

      1. 1

        Woah! Those were great. Listened to the video and read the article. Thanks a lot.

        I wonder though, will the product hunt police come after me by relaunching/ posting my product twice? lol

        1. 1

          You're very welcome.

          Re the Product Hunt Police --> I think you can't relaunch until 6 months after the last launch, so you should be good. Just make sure not to dm/spam people for upvotes - As they won't like that and it may result in a ban, or them removing your listing (I assume)

  5. 2

    It's not a royal wedding, its eloping in Vegas and you have to stand in line to do it. This is how I feel about Product Hunt, what I am working on would have little to gain by getting in front of the product hunt crowd, the same is true for a lot of products that end up getting paraded past them anyway. Whenever this is mentioned there is all kinds of push back but I have yet to hear of anyone going full vertical, asymptotic, up and to the right forever by doing it and the amount of effort and all the kabuki theatre surrounding it is insane. Spend the same amount of effort blasting straight into the middle of your target market for a launch and nowhere else.

    1. 1

      Spend the same amount of effort blasting straight into the middle of your target market for a launch and nowhere else.

      So do you mean that instead of launching through PH, find some community that is more niche/same niche of your product and spend all your energy there?

      1. 2

        If your app is a productivity tool for tracking expenses in a remote work environment it's going to be someone in finance who is going to want to know about it. You go and find where online accounting, finance, expense tracking, payroll, hour tracking, etc. is all discussed, hyped, compared etc. You get in with that crowd, you link up on social media, join their communities etc. and market straight to them. Letting people on PH know about it might get you 50,000 eyeballs and ten of them will be a bullseye, getting to say "check this out" on a group of 500 finance people where 450 of them are your bullseye is 45x more effective. LAUNCH WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS GATHER. Also think about it more like "unveil" and "introduce" because "launch" is when you have a Super Bowl commercial and millions in marketing dollars - Coke launched products - people in the massively churning software world "introduce" if they work at it constantly and its often a one-on-one introduction to start.

        1. 1

          LAUNCH WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS GATHER

          🙏💪

  6. 2

    Thanks for this! Really encouraging

  7. 2

    100% agree -- there are 1000's of companies / products / SaaS launched every day and nobody cares if you launch one more.

    Some entrepreneurs get lucky and their product hits new media or popular blogs, but don't celebrate yet -- tomorrow there will be next 1000 launches and your product will be history.

    But if you keep working on your product / marketing / customers, then eventually you will succeed. Good luck to everyone!

    1. 1

      Yep, many projects are launched every single day. But most products are abandoned in the first months. Keep building and improving your product and you will inevitably stand out 💪

    2. 1

      @Wishmesh 🙏
      it could be depressing to think about that. But there are also so many people in the world that could use that 1000s of products so maybe there is still a chance ;-)

  8. 1

    #abl always be launching

  9. 1

    So, Today Blurry is " #4 Product of the Day Today ", +225 upvotes & +60 comments saying this is awesome idea but only 5 sales today hahaha
    https://www.producthunt.com/posts/blurry

    1. 1

      Interesting point: I think Blurry is a very smart tool (I upvoted it), but since I am not a content creator, I won't purchase (unless real video production need arises for me).

      Which takes us to another sneaky aspect of launches: the tools we launch can be interesting and nice, but still "useless" if not evaluated by someone who has the problem that our solution tries to address.

      So, upvoting and traffic is good, but, again, reaching the right people is the turning point ...

      1. 1

        Exactly! you can read in the comments many said " I was looking ", maybe at that time they could buy it if they found it but at the moment doesn't mean they need it. Maybe in the near future will buy.

    2. 1

      Congratulation on the successful launch though 💪

      Seems like you are having a hard time converting visitors into customers...but I don't know anything about that 😄

  10. 1

    To use your own words, this is my personal opinion and maybe hard truth.

    You said

    As me and my team launched our SaaS survey platform over a year ago, we thought about the launch of the product in this magical way where the world finally sees what we've built and everyone just uses our product because they waited so long for exactly this and the press goes crazy all over the internet

    If that's true then what that means is you and your team were extremely naive.

    That being said, the points you make are valid and maybe will help others who are coming up the ranks behind you with their own launches.

    I wrote an article on here ages ago; it was something about product development tips and one of the bullet points was along the lines of "no-one, absolutely no-one, is going to give a shit when you launch your product".

  11. 1

    Agreed 100%. There's just so many things to do, and pretty much you'll never be fully ready for it. And now that I look back on it, there's much improvement I've done since then 😁

    PS. and yes, my PH launch was a colossal failure 😁

    1. 1

      @johnt2021 🙏
      What were your learnings that led to the improvements? 😊

      1. 2

        I wouldn't call them "learnings" -- it's simply just implementing what was already in my TODO list, I just didn't have time to have ready in time for launch.

        But the whole "launch" thingy can be stressful - since you're never ready to do it. So, just do it and be done with it, then you can sort of, move on with your life.

        The biggest thing that was stressing me out was the payments module. Once I had that, I was ready to test pricing (a lot of my assumptions were wrong 😁) and other strategies.

  12. 1

    💯 agree here

    This video from YC on how to launch over and over again is one of the best things I've watched: https://youtu.be/3xU050kMbHM

    1. 1

      @mattcrail great video, thanks for sharing 😊🙏

  13. 1

    Yes Matthias, you're absolutely right.

    It's something that all first time launchers realize.
    The actual launch is most probably going to be a total anti-climax compared to the frantic planning, building and testing going on right up to the launch.

    Also something to remember is that you've spent so much time with your product, but others know nothing about it. They still have to be convinced about it. I believe the product itself is the best sale person 😁

    So, yes, get it out there, don't loose hope if you only get one or two sign ups. You probably wont get 10 000 users five minutes after you press "launch", but always stick with it, because you never know when they will start pouring in👍

    Good Luck with your journey!

    1. 1

      @jaakit 🙏
      Yes, I think your point with the perception of your own product in comparison to how everyone else sees it, is a pretty good one 😊

  14. 1

    Startups should never stop launching. Do not stick to only one date and think everything is over. The more the launches the more you get to know your customers, learn about their problems, crack their needs, recalibrate and then launch again.

    1. 2

      @Simona_S totally agree 💪Launching over and over again makes a single launch seem less important and you focus more on the whole journey.

Trending on Indie Hackers
I will promote your startup to 50K+ people 212 comments I made Session, a productivity timer that makes $5K/month in net profit, AMA! 40 comments How I Acquired a Mobile App on Flippa (and grew it from $700/MRR to $5.4k) 14 comments Steph Smith on making $130k w/ an ebook, creating a course in 20 days, and the latest trends 10 comments Feedback, please: does the landing page explain the product? 6 comments Roast my web3 app landing page 6 comments