When timing is everything!
We’ve all heard examples of poorly-timed product launches.
In 2014 it was hard to avoid the failure of Google Glass, the wearable tech designed to scan your surroundings and transmit relevant product and location information in your view. Early users reported issues with battery life, cellular data, and clunky design – which was enough for major companies like Twitter to stop designing Apps for it.
When we hear these stories it’s very easy to think: “why didn’t they plan this? Aren’t they billionaires? Didn’t they do their research?”
In business, timing is everything.
Our best business ideas do not stand alone in their brilliance and originality.
Paul Graham’s piece on the most common problems that kill startups analyses some of these issues in-depth.
Over this year I’ll be talking more about the diverse issues of starting up your best business idea, and how you’ll overcome them.
Timing problem 1: Too slow to launch
If you’re thigh-deep in development mode: testing, experimenting, researching, it’s tempting to think this stage can go on as long as you ‘feel’ it’s necessary.
In the face of uncertainty, it’s easy to make excuses for delaying your launch. Graham lists some of the problems that manifest as launch delays: “working too slowly; not truly understanding the problem; fear of having to deal with users; fear of being judged; working on too many different things; excessive perfectionism.”
However, launching quicker gets you to actually finish what you started – and to get that great business or product idea out to customers for their feedback and engagement.
Timing problem 2: Too quick to launch
Perhaps you’re the opposite of my hesitant straw man above.
You’re hot to share your business idea with everyone – so you can get on with improving the world.
However if your idea and research is not fully fleshed out, those early customers may never come back (see Google Glass, above). Worse case scenario: your business idea is a hit! However you may not have all the resources or staff you need to cope with increased demand. Are you prepared for all of the above, and have you crunched and re-crunched your numbers?
…so when do I launch?
It is always wise to ask yourself difficult questions to determine if your idea will work for you in current market conditions. In asking yourself and your business partners these questions, you’re well on the way to getting your launch timing just right.
1. How is the current market and local economy?
2. What is the current competition in your industry?
3. Do market trends seem optimistic for the start of your business and its future growth?
4. Do you understand the timing involved in reaching your customer?
5. Do you know when the best time is or how frequently you should reach out to your target market?
6. Is this launch the right time for you?
When did you launch your new business venture?
Was your launch timing right?