Amit Grover is the founder of Nurture Talent Academy, India's first institute for entrepreneur training.
Launch it, then correct it
As a part of the Startup Yatra last month, Nurture Talent took 25 startups to offices of successful entrepreneurs, and one of them was Indiamart, India’s largest B2B venture. I noticed a chart with these golden words for their development team — “Launch it, then correct it”. Everyday, we get 100’s of ideas to work on and then spend 100’s of hours trying to predict how the market will behave. Here are some points to consider for product launches:
Build a pre-launch buzz
There are many websites which allow you to have a landing page with ‘Coming soon’ type. You can have a subscribe page, collect emails, build an initial customer base, set expectations before launch. These inputs can help you build products as per market inputs. Kickofflabs, Launchrock, etc, are some examples of such sites. In the age of social media, even a Facebook page can help you build buzz while validating your idea.
Done is better than perfect
When Bill Gates was set to showcase Microsoft Windows to the world, it showed a stuck blue screen and hung! There are numerous bugs in any software’s beta version, and then the never ending cycle of upgrades begins with corrections and new features. If we keep thinking about making our idea perfect for all, then it may not see the light of day.
Test, test, test
The first time Tata Nano was launched, it failed. Then when they came up with Nano 2.0 with better mileage, improved safety features and pick up, it worked. Just assuming that a Rs one lakh car will sell like hot cakes was a false assumption. It is important to test product features, pricing, packaging and distribution.
Expand the base later
Startups sometimes believe that their duty is to serve everyone. Zoho started with the idea of simplicity while building its tools against other giants like Salesforce — they would never have made it if they wanted to launch everything for everyone on Day one. So build a prototype and try it out with real customers first.
Even when you have a product idea in mind, break it into a product roadmap — a series of new features or new products that you will add in future. If version one fails, try the next and even if it succeeds, try the next version. As an entrepreneur, you become more intelligent with failure as well success. Happy building and launching!