January 15, 2009
Many of us out there struggle as new entrepreneurs trying to figure out the best way to manage a product launch. As a single person who developed a web product it was hard to figure our the best practices and how to leverage tools to gain the most traction for the product and its launch.
So I wanted to pass along some tips from a post written by a master of publicity and product launches, Jason Calacanis, founder and creator of Mahalo. In a nutshell, Jason recently launched a new product called Mahalo Answers
Mahalo Answers is a Knowledge exchange where you can post questions which are answered by other users. Optionally, but highly encouraged, you can offer a tip for the best answer given for your question.
I have followed Jason’s writing a bit over the last year or so, and even more so listened to him on various podcasts. I admit I always had a bit of an off perception of him, but after listening to him I saw he really was a smart guy that knew how to build great products. I mean he built and sold Weblogs Inc, one of the first blogging networks, to AOL for like $15 million, so he knows a few things. In any case he recently had a great post about the process he went through to launch Mahalo Answers and it is great advice so I wanted to pass along to all my readers.
- Create Buzz and Beta
- start early telling folks that you are busy wrapping up a really cool project. Start putting out “leads” about your new project and impending launch date on social media sites like twitter and facebook. Your friends will see this and ask back about it and the word and buzz get spread without very much work at all.
- The Beta
- Set up a worthwhile beta program, and invite people outside the community to participate. You get a better view of the normal person using your product and gather valuable feedback from the beta testers.
- Slam the System
- essential to break your system before the users do
- The Media Tour
- Now most of us do not have the ability to take your show on the road and do a media tour, but you can do other things in your area to mimic the “tour”. Instead, touch base with some of your influential friends in the community to maybe write a post about the product and do an interview with them.
- Find local meetups to demo your product.
- Open the Floodgates
- Be prepared for the flood of users and make sure you and the team are ready to react quickly to any issues that arise so you can put the fires out and keep the system running as smoothly as possible. You don’t want your new users to get a bad taste in their mouth and not come back.
- Set the Tone
- Make sure everyone involved has bought in to the product and is on the same page.
So a few tips from one of the masters on launching a product. You don’t have to be launching a large product to a huge audience, these tips can be adapted to fit many needs.
So let us know of any tips you all have for launching a product in the current landscape.
TECH cocktail Community Contributed Knowledge
Jimmy Gardner is the founder of MyDropBin and 2Plus11 Technology. He works in the technology field as a government contractor. He also blogs at East Cost Blogging. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or add Jimmy as a friend in the TECH cocktail COMMUNITY.
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