The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
328: The Pre-Launch: How to Do It Right (With or Without Hype)
Jul 20, 2018
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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about what startups should and shouldn’t do before launching a product.

The startup world is very competitive. Everyday, new products and services are launched. A great way to ensure that your launch goes successfully is to conduct a pre-launch marketing campaign.

In this episode, Steli and Hiten share their thoughts on what pre-launch is, how to do it the right way and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:22 Why this topic was chosen.

01:03 An example of a wrong way to launch a product.

01:12 What you need to understand before launching a big PR campaign.

01:54 The right thing to do pre-launch.

02:40 Why the pre-launch process is super critical.

03:26 Why you shouldn’t rely on your own website or advertising.

03:46 About ProductHunt’s ship feature and how it can be helpful.

04:50 How there’s a lot less focus on the marketing side of launching a product.

05:40 Why it’s important to learn about the value proposition of a product.

06:17 How conducting multiple tests at the pre-launch stage can help you have a better launch.

3 Key Points:

The pre-launch process is super critical.
There’s a lot less focus on the marketing side of launching a product.
Use those early interactions with your users to inform your marketing team on how to marketing the product when you launch.

 

[0:00:00]

Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.

 

[0:00:02]

Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.

 

[0:00:04]

Steli Efti: And in today's episode of The Startup Chat, we're gonna talk about the pre-launch. How to do it right with or without the hype. This even rhymes, I didn't this realize this when I was writing this down. What I essentially wanna quickly talk to you about is like the kind of best practices of how companies and startups are launching their products. We had an episode where we talked about how to do the launch right, and you recently launched a pretty significant and very successful product. But what I wanna talk about today a little bit is like, what do you do before the launch? Back in the day, companies would invest all this time to do like a really big bang launch, I'll call it, where they had the product and the marketing and the PR and everything, all happen at once, in one big day. We then learned that that's a bad idea for various reasons. The biggest being that you need to disconnect and understand that launching product or feature and testing it and getting it in the hands of your users and customers and learning what works and what doesn't, and collect feedback about how to talk about it and all that, can happen before you do a big PR or marketing push and launch. That has kind of, I think that that's been something that has improved in our industry, in the startup world in the last few years, like going away from this big event where companies, where startups would spend tons of money and cross their fingers that this one day would define them as a startup. We've gone away from it, which is a big improvement. One thing that I'm seeing today though, more and more again, is the ... what's the right thing to do pre-launch in terms of limited alpha, limited beta? And then, how do you create anticipation? I see some startups now that are much better at like quote unquote hyping what's upcoming, and doing a lot of social media around, "Hey, we have something coming up next week, a new feature, you guys are gonna love it." And, just like, teasing, teasing, teasing and then launching. You know so much about it, you're involved in so many launches and pre-launches and all that, so I wanna just do a quick rundown of like how startups, what startups should and shouldn't do before the launch.

 

[0:02:07]

Hiten Shah: Yeah, this is such a good topic.

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