Launching is scary. How do you prepare?

Cameron
8 replies
Hi everyone, I'm currently building a small SaaS utility. What I've built is usable and polished, but definitely not feature complete. What I wanted to do is build light, and ship quickly to validate if the commercial version of the product has merit. Now that time has come.. I've prepared as much as possible from a technical point of view, with extensive testing and all the dashboards and metrics I could possibly need to know if something is on fire or not, but beyond that, I'm not sure what else to do. Currently I've got several friends using the app, and in my staging environment I've load tested thousands of users, but I just know my testing assumptions are going to be challenged somehow once it's in the public. Do any of you have suggestions?

Replies

Staff Software Engineer @ Accord
Hey @thinkallabout , I know how you feel - launching is very very scary, the last thing I ever want to do is miss out on my opportunity to make a great first impression with my product. You'll find lots of different opinions on the subject, but I've recently become convinced that getting the product in front of potential users as quickly as possible is more important than making sure it's technically perfect. I think you should launch! it sounds like you've got the telemetry you need in case your product begins experiencing unexpected amounts of load. I don't know your stack, but a great way to be face unexpected load is to be able to scale horizontally quickly. Get to a point where you know that x containers can handle y requests and then watch your traffic and respond accordingly. If your product fits their needs, you may find users to be more forgiving and understanding than you might think if your product experiences temporary degradation due to load constraints. Wish you the best of luck & happy to chat more if you'd like :)
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Hi @gregkop I've got a very simple stack! Python on App Engine, very limited use of JavaScript. I'm less concerned about load and more about things breaking, but then again I suppose being ready means more than anything :) I suppose it's more of a utility than a product (subscribing to RSS feeds via email) but I've got a few nifty features which make it worthwhile: For example, "Send me all updates from Product Hunt that mention [AI, Mobile, Apps]" is a valid use case. Do you want to carry on talking via email? My address is hello@cameronbrown.co.uk
Founder @sosimplified
Just Ship it. “If you aren’t embarrassed by the first version of your product, you shipped too late.” ― Reid Hoffman
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Founder & CEO, Hustle Crew
@csallen shared some great advice on our podcast, don't obsess about the launch, you will launch multiple times in many ways. Focus on building in the open with your customers giving you input, build a community. Embrace uncertainty and push for acquiring real data wherever possible. I don't think it ever gets less scary you just learn how to deal with the fear!
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It really is scary. I'm reading Intercom's "Starting Up," and they talk a lot about how launching isn't what most people make it out to be. They say that launching, getting your product into the consumer's hands is the first and most important step and it's when your product is born. Before that, you can get stuck tweaking it indefinitely but when it hits the consumer's hands its a real product that you can receive feedback on and then the real work begins of fine tuning it. Good luck on your launch and all the fine tuning and progress that comes after!
In this case, you will have to offer a great support and prepare your tech team to react fast! If you want to launch fast. It's all about support and fast updates! Good Luck to you. FAST FAST FAST AND HARD WORK.
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@marine_dhap How would you recommend publicising updates?
@thinkallabout you just need to keep close to your new users and ask for constant feedbacks and modify/adapt the new product as fast as possible. Support and IT teams should work hands in hands. If you choose to launch it fast you have to react fast to changes as well. :)