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Handling First Timer Butterflies?


#1

So, I’m a few weeks away from launching my first product and I’m getting butterflies (good and bad). As a solo founder that’s a total virgin to building, maintaining, and growing a product, I’ve been having bouts of “what if people think I’m a goober because I haven’t (insert thing I forgot here)?”

In general I think it’s silly, but like a lot of things, humans don’t act in the most logical ways.

If you’re someone who has already launched a product (paid), how do you handle the pre-launch nervousness and learn to not worry about getting it perfect out of the gate?


#2

Launch it. Don’t post anything or tell anybody. Go watch a movie, have a pizza, drink some beer.

Come back an hour later. Send out a tweet, or post a blog entry, or do whatever you consider to be the first step of announcing it.

Then, shut off the monitor, and go do something again for an hour or two (without your phone or whatever you check email/twitter on).

Then come back an hour or two later, and see a response that’s a fraction of the response you expected, and relax as you realize that you’ve been building this up in your head to an unrealistic level, and the reality is that you’re going to have to fight for the next year to get the kind of attention out of this thing that you were worried about on the first day of launching it.

Then the work begins.

Good luck! :smile:


#3

Andrey is completely right. It won’t go fast. Also, in five years you’ll probably laugh at how basic your product was back in 2013.


#4

I agree with Andrey; you are just working your launching muscle gradually and getting out your comfort zone, so to speak!

Launch it already :slight_smile:


#5

This is a really great idea, Andrey. Thank you.

Haha, you’re right.

I suppose the first couple of days at the gym are always the hardest :wink:


#6

Andrey makes some very good points. With Rallypoint what we are trying to do (and is working out so far) is not launching fully public straight from the get go, but slowly letting people in.

Even though we have quite a bit of experience launching / running apps for clients, we have never really done it on our own. We didn’t know how our architecture would scale, how many of what service we’d need, how many bugs were lying dormant, etc. On the other hand, we do know what standards we want to hit, how we want our users to experience our app, what our levels of support are, etc.

So we decided that once our app was more useful than broken, we started letting people in (which we’ve just started doing a couple of weeks ago). And actually before we let people in, we used the app ourselves quite intensively.

Now with a few active users we’ve got more of an idea how our app will perform and if it has any crazy issues. In the worst case scenario, if anything really hits the fan, any big problems only affect a couple of people, who already know and accepted that with early access come a few risks.

Once we’re happy with how it runs and with ourselves reaching our standards, we’re letting more people in, with hopefully some informed confidence that we won’t completely crash and burn instantly. And we’l keep going like that. One of our milestones will be starting charging for it and another instant access for the public.

This approach is surely making it easier for me to relax :smile:


#7

I recently just launched my fist ever product in June. The butterflies I found were of excitement, but also eagerness to get to the next stage. I knew I was ready to launch because I was meeting with early adopters and they were ready to start playing and seeing what we built for them. We set the expectation to our early users before launch. The expectation we set was that this was the groundwork for the future. Soon as we launched, we celebrated and watched the pop of excitement. We also had already made a plan of what was going to happen next and imeditaly went into the “Engagement Phase” where we worked on engaging the users, and ensuring they are happy and believe in where we are going. We are still in the "Engagement Phase"but are now teasing new things, and talking to the users and sharing with them what is next for them. They are getting really pumped for the next big feature.

As with what everyone is saying, I am not saying this wave of traffic has been through the roof, but it has been enough to keep me motivated and I can measure the progress we are having from our efforts.

So I guess in short… Have a plan and then launch. The weirdest but rewarding feeling is when you realize that the users and content on your product is not just placeholder anymore, it is real and then the experience becomes real as now the App is living and breathing.

I think this approach is very similar to what @JaapRood has noted above as well.

Hope it helps!


#8

Love everything folks have suggested on here. Other thing I’d say is:

  1. Get mentors/advisors who are successful. For me I tap @ian at least once a month with my startup questions over beers.
  2. Don’t wait. We stalled a lot last year at my company and didn’t focus on the products we wanted to make. It was a huge waste of time and all we learnt from it was that we shouldn’t wait.
  3. Code is never finished. Learned this one at the first shop I was at over a decade ago. There’s always ways to improve but we have to let the app breathe a little bit and see how people will use it before making changes.

#9

This isn’t @andrey’s way, but I recommend talking about it early and often. You have nothing to lose by doing so and lots to gain. The more people who know about it before you launch the better, you can’t have too many people who know about it early.


#10

My advice was more in the way of how to handle the nerves.

As far as announcement strategy, I’d go with whatever @ian says. There’s clear evidence that he’s right.


#11

Glad you mentioned this. I started doing this about…two months back(?) by starting a little newsletter/signup list. Before I did it I was terrified, but now writing to my subscribers is something I get really excited about each week (I like to share freelance tips and resources to help them build their business). If anyone else stumbles upon this thread, HIGHLY recommended.

This has been/was/is been my biggest concern. I think I’ve made the mistake of getting caught up in the Hacker News tornado of perpetual negativity, leading me to believe that because my code isn’t perfect/I don’t do things by some front-pager’s article, I was imperfect in someway. It may be geeky, but I’m excited to fix bugs and get my hands dirty post-launch.

Yep, this is where I’m coming from. I was hanging out with a friend who runs his own product the other day and he said, “man, the hardest part is knowing what the future looks like, but also knowing the amount of hard work it takes to get there.”