Ep 11: Why Tech Startups Should Launch Quietly

Ep 11: Why Tech Startups Should Launch QUIETLY (Yes, you read that right)

The other day I came across this quote in an article by VC Mark Suster, and it was so SPOT ON that I’ve been repeating it to anyone within earshot since:

“In a world in which you’re encouraged to launch early and get feedback from customers, you can often confuse “product launch” with “marketing.” – Mark Suster

This made so much sense to me, because it’s a confusion I often see startups making.

Are you marketing, or are you product launching, or…both?

Stop doing both!

In hardware environments, product launch and marketing are essentially the same thing. If your product is ready to be launched, it’s ready to be marketed.

Software is a much more dynamic environment. In software, there is ALWAYS an opportunity to iterate on your product.

For that reason, your product launch aim is NOT to make money. The aim is to gain feedback!

SO…Your product launch should be cheap as chips. You don’t need to pump $20k – $100k into marketing your MVP.

Let’s dig into this a bit more so you understand whether you should be product launching, or marketing.

In this episode I’ll cover:

  • The fundamental difference between product launch and marketing, and how to know where you’re at right now
  • Why startups that expect to make money upon product launch are DELUSIONAL (or just anomalies)
  • The 3 stages of the startup lifecycle, and where marketing (ie: generating $$$) fits into it. Yes, you will make money eventually!
  • The 5 “make or break” factors you need to focus on once you have product launched (plus tips to ensure you’re mostly in the ‘make’ group)
  • Not self-funding? I briefly touch on where seeking investor funding slots into all this.

Hope that’s been helpful. Please subscribe to this podcast for more tips and tricks on how to build and grow a business in the tech space. I’ll see you next week!

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Logan Merrick is the co-founder and Director of Buzinga, as well as one of Australia's most recognised entrepreneurs, keynote speakers, investors and mentors. His writing on startups, technology and mobile marketing has been featured in The Australian, Business Insider, Startup Smart, Smart Company, and more.
  • This is very timely Logan. In my case there’s been some confusion about proving revenue from day 1 which has resulted in zero uptake of the product. This article has been an eye-opener for me. Does offering a free service in the beginning for the sake of getting feedback make sense or should one still charge a small fee?

    • Logan Merrick

      Hey Harshit,
      I would be leaning towards offering your product for free initially, as we’re after sheer quantity and diversity of feedback before moving further with profitability. Depending on your cash flow, I understand for some startups this might not be possible but it’s what I’d recommend!
      Does this answer your question?
      Cheers, Logan.

      • This makes sense Logan. Thanks a tonne for your thoughts!