Launching a product: How can founders avoid common pitfalls?

Entrepreneurship SaaS
Sudipta Bhowmick
4 mins to read
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Even the genius of Steve Jobs couldn’t save Apple Lisa from being a commercial failure.

Lisa generated a total sales of $100 million against a development cost of more than $150 million.

So, why would any product fail after its launch?

Well, just like young Steve Jobs, founders make an assumption that it will work without considering the common pitfalls of the product launch!

Here are some tips for founders to avoid common pitfalls when launching a new product:

  • Test exhaustively before launch - Rigorously test for bugs, usability issues, and edge cases. Don't rely on internal testing alone. Get feedback from target users. For Automated testing, use frameworks like Selenium, and for load testing, use tools like JMeter or LoadRunner to simulate traffic spikes and stress test capacity. You can also manually test it with target users to identify UX issues

  • Manage feature creep - It's tempting to keep adding more features pre-launch but don’t. Rank features by value/impact to define must-haves. Use the MoSCoW prioritization matrix. And create version roadmaps with clear scope and timeline for releases by using platforms like Asana. Prioritize must-haves for v1 and stick to the plan. Avoid bloat.

  • Set realistic expectations - Many founders overhype launches and underdeliver. Give early limited releases to small test groups to gather real user feedback on platforms like Figma. Be transparent about what v1 offers. Underpromise, overdeliver.

  • Plan for demand spikes - Nothing hurts more than an app crashing from too much traffic on launch day. Use auto-scaling groups in AWS/Azure to spin up more instances seamlessly. Use Load balanced like Amazon ELB to distribute traffic across multiple servers.

  • Build in monitoring - Monitor health metrics from day one. Use tools like Datadog, New Relic, and PagerDuty for logging, Application performance monitoring, and Alerting respectively to detect issues before users complain.

  • Have a rollback plan - In case of major bugs or outages post-launch, be able to quickly roll back to a working version. Source code in Git/GitHub to revert to the previous working version and use continuous delivery tools like Jenkins to automate deployments and rollbacks.

  • Get feedback fast - Actively collect user feedback immediately after launch. Build quick user satisfaction surveys using Typeform in the application and use Email/chat widgets to collect user feedback. Prioritize quick iteration to address pain points.

  • Support at full strength - Build a support system like Zendesk to manage user tickets. And have a FAQ system and community forums for self-troubleshooting. First impressions matter.

  • Promote strategically - Provide early access for key influencers to help create buzz. But balance hype with delivering substance.

Stick the landing like a gymnast at the Olympics, not a drunk giraffe on roller skates. Nail that first launch! 🤸‍♀️ 🦒

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Entrepreneurship SaaS

Sudipta Bhowmick
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