Start with distribution - why PH launches matter

Yehoshua Zlotogorski
5 replies
If you build it they won't come. I realized this a week after we launched one of the features we were most excited about at Alpe Audio: Learn and Earn. It was a painful moment: we were super excited about it. It's a feature that aligns perfectly with our ethos and values: helping learners commit and live up to their lifelong learning goals in a novel, first of it's kind solution. And no one really cared. Start with your audience. If you don't start with who you're solving the problem for, your product, as good as it may be, will flop. This is probably the most important lesson founders and product managers need to learn. You need to know exactly whom your product is serving. Why it's helping them and how it's scratching their itch. Not every product is everybody's 'painkiller', but there's always an audience out there for whom it is. Find them. Failing to do this leads to the graveyard of failed products, flopped launches. Luckily, there's a simple way to avoid this. #1. Analyze your audience. Unless you know who your audience is and what makes them tick, your product will fail. Analyze their persona and find where they hang out and where you can engage with them: Slack or Discord channels, Facebook or LinkedIn groups, newsletters, podcasts, Twitter tags or local communities. You first must find where your audience is to ensure you'll be able to spread the word about what you're building. #2. Test your product: Build in public. Get feedback ASAP on what you're building from your target audience BEFORE you build anything. This way you know whether you have an audience for what you're building. Without good support, your product will fail. Write posts, share a survey or chat with people 1:1. Do anything you can to test your idea before you build. #3. Launch with your supporters. Once you've built that community you can launch with support for your product. You've already ensured interest and seen that someone will be relevant. Ping those who helped you and gave feedback, provide positive feedback publicly and leverage your community and proven Go-To audience channels.   By focusing on your audience first, you'll avoid my mistake: launching a feature with no one to launch it to.


This is great advice. We just launched on PH today. Found that building in public in the weeks previous was the biggest contributor to spreading the word.
Derek Duban
This is where I struggle: I build first because I'm a maker. I make things because I enjoy it. I don't watch TV, I write code into bigger and bigger projects. I do it for me. After I make something, I look at it, and say to myself "if it works for me, it should work for everyone else." And that is what brings me to PH. Where now I have to learn to say "how can I adapt this so other people will want it?" Now that I'm in this position, I will begin to "build in public" as I update and tweak all my projects. I'll start this by the end of the week. Would love your support.
Yehoshua Zlotogorski
@sclerek I can really sympathize, since I have a similar issue (around writing/researching, less coding) but I've really encountered that unless I first focus on who will want it, then no one ends up reading 😁. This is actually ok, depending on the project - some things are only for myself or that tiny niche of people who are interested. But other projects that need tangible outcomes - well, those need me to think about distribution first