The Most Have Before Launching

9 Mar 2024

The Most Have Before Launching

Launching into the public eye, we're bound by a common fear: the inner voice questioning our readiness, fearing criticism. It's not about silencing this voice but understanding it. As we face our shared hesitations, we find our path to genuine expression.

You know, that thing that always objects and puts you back, that utter fear of showing yourself in public, the scariness from criticism, and the dread of not meeting expectations. That inner voice that constantly questions your readiness. It's the barrier that often keeps many projects in the shadows, preventing them from seeing the light of day.

It is still haunting me to this very moment. Whenever I say I’m ready, a whisper says that feature must also be completed before production.

You might be reading this and living across the world. The chances we’ve nothing in common are relatively high, but that inner whisper that is holding us back is what brings us together.

Fear that the digital people will laugh at you, say negative comments, or simply not understand the value of what you've poured your time and maybe your heart into. It's a fear that transcends borders, cultures, and professions. This fear can be paralyzing, leading us to procrastinate, over-polish, and hesitate, often under the guise of striving for perfection.

Overcoming this fear is not about silencing that inner whisper but about listening to it. Identify the reasons, write them, and set out solutions.

Prioritize if my friends are my only users.

If you happen to be a programmer or tech lurker, you might already be familiar with the notion of abstraction. Simply put, abstraction is the process of hiding complex details behind simpler, more understandable interfaces, making it easier to interact with technology.

I'm preparing for its unveiling, with an initial release aimed at my few friends to establish my expectations and to narrow down the extensive list of features I think are essential to include before proceeding.

You, my dear user, or dear maybe user, can, at this point, add your product and write about your experience building it with others. That’s it. No more. A simple, minimal amount of functions that show what is.

My checklist, although yours, will be only slightly different

I’ve read many times about the essentials of launching, but I have never been near doing so. No wonder why many talk about it; it’s an overwhelming process.

Here’s my list of essentials, starting with

  • Analytics: It is important to record key indicators of how well your initial outgoing is performing. I’m recording repetitive visits, unique visits with referrals, time spent on a page, and CTA click rates—nothing out of the ordinary.
  • Functionality: Only the core bones. I considered it like this: If I could strip everything away from YouTube except for one thing that would still make it usable, it would be the video component and the unseen necessities that support it. For, this was the Write and Product listing functions.
  • Marketing: Know what channels are good to reach your customers, maybe LinkedIn, Twitter, ..etc. I have two channels: the small acquaintances Slack community and my phone.

Bear in mind that the most important point (at the beginning at least) in gauging user interaction is the conversion event. This event (which might encompass many events), on top of others, should tell you how your product is doing.

The list varies depending on what is the most important. For instance, mobile support is, to a degree, important, but It can be deferred to a later stage. And keep in mind the non-functional stuff, such as analytics and support.

Assuming you did the customer discovery stuff and actually talked to your customers.

Is it usable?

Perhaps the most significant point is that it should be usable. A few days ago, I believed I was ready; I had moved my writings to the website and was set to write another piece. What surprised me was that I found myself using a different app for writing rather than writing on my own platform. It was at that moment I understood I still had work to do both mentally and functionally, so it's essential to ensure you can actually use what you're building.

Nowadays, I use this platform almost daily; whenever I have a thought, I write It there and draft it. Also, it is a great way of assessing the robustness of the functions, and if you are like me and work alone, you have to catch bugs early on.