How to assess if you product is market-ready, bug-free, problem-solving or viral-material? The issue of launching is highly important for entrepreneurs since it can cost a lot of time and money, and let’s face it, it kind of feels like this:
Here are a few pieces of advice coming from fellow bloggers, journalists, entrepreneurs and startup-gurus.
PAUL GRAHAM, Y COMBINATOR, “Launch early and often”
The co-founder of Y Combinator and author of How to Start a Startup is the number #1 reference blogger for startup advice. Here are his words about launching, summed up in what has become a real motto in Palo Alto: “Launch early and often”.
“The thing I probably repeat most is this recipe for a startup: get a version 1 out fast, then improve it based on users’ reactions.
1. Since you don’t know your users, it’s dangerous to guess what they’ll like. Better to release something and let them tell you.
2. For a startup the initial release acts as a shakedown cruise. If anything major is broken (…) you want to find [it out] early.
3. [Launching early] makes you work harder. (Because) when you’re working on something (…) that’s out there, problems are alarming.”
JOEL SPOLSKY, STACK OVERFLOW “Avoid the Marimba Phenomenon”
“The Marimba Phenomenon is what happens when you spend more on PR and marketing than on development. Result: everybody checks out your code, and it’s not good yet. These people will be permanently convinced that your code is simple and inadequate, even if you improve it drastically later.”
DREW HOUSTON, DROPBOX “Not launching, painful; Not Learning, fatal”
Dropbox learnt how to launch properly the hard way. It took them 14 months to see a curve heading the right way. Before launching, the co-founders used 0-budget hacks to learn without launching: they posted 3 screencasts of their MVP on hacker news and got high quality feedback. Yet they needed to put something in their customers’ hands to figure how to find traction.
FEROSS ABOUKHADJEH, YOUTUBE INSTANT « Playing it by ear and just going with the flow »
It took about 3 hours to Feross to build Youtube Instant, directly inspired by Google Instant that Google had just launched. Overnight, the app got tens of thousands of views, and Feross got celebrity and countless job offers (he was in his junior year at Stanford).
As a lesson learned, Christopher Beam, journalist at New York Mag writes : “You’ll never fully grasp what aspects of your site need more work and require adjustment until you actually put it in front of people. No amount of preparation will be able to act as a substitute for the learning you’ll glean from an actual launch.”
MATT LERNER, ALL STAR DEALS: “DO IT NOW”
After having used Launchrock, the easy landing-page builder created to help startup build an audience before they launch, the CEO of All Star Deals shared his experience on Launchrock’s blog:
“If you have an idea for an app, do it now. Throw it up online. Find an audience. Worry about quality later. Best-case scenario, you create the next Facebook. Worst-case, you try again.”
Now, ready to launch? Why not apply to the Paris Founders Event?
We hear so many launching stories at the Rude Baguette, it seemed pretty natural to throw a party to celebrate the hottest of them. Next edition of Paris Founders Event will host the launching of 5 innovative startups, products or services. The event has already gathered co-founders, investors and journalists 8 times last year around good food and drinks. For the first 2014 edition, we want to bring something more to the night: the discovery of the 5 hottest startups in the French scene.
We’re not looking for elaborate business models, nor for beautiful excel sheets copied on slides, we want to show the world how France makes “WOW-products”.
If you are currently working on a project that is ready to be launched on April 8th (even in beta), submit it here and we’ll get back to you.
Finalists will be invited to come to the event and the 5 winners will be selected to pitch for 3 min each, on stage. Of course, laureates will get cool gifts, plus the 200+ attendees (investors, journalists, startup lovers) are already craving to meet them.
When and where?
Google’s Office, 8 rue de Londres Paris // April 8th, 2014 – 7p.m
Wanna join the party? Get your tickets below!