You’ve had the break through idea and have sorted out your business plan. If your business involves a new product or service there will probably be a section in your business plan marked “Product Development.”
This is the phase where you’ve got a prototype or a beta service and you want to refine it, make it a little more slick and add a couple more features. But beware.
According startup guru Jerry Kaplan, launching a product can be compared to having children. Just how much do you protect your child before you let it out into the world? It’s possible to become too precious with the thing you’ve spent so much time and energy (and money) on.
If you’re targeting a niche market it would definitely pay to launch sooner rather than later. There is a staggering precedent for those products that are first to market. In marketing terms it’s called the law of leadership and often leads to the brand name becoming the generic term. Xerox and Coca Cola are classic examples and have even become verbs!
Release Early If Possible
Releasing early is better than releasing late. Being the first to market is an incredible advantage to have if you can capitalize on it.
Getting the product out early also means monetizing and commercializing more quickly. The problem with a lot of startups is that they focus on development and then pitch to Venture Capitalists or other investors.
Listen to and Trust your Users
The pressure of developing can be reduced even further if you trust your users. At the end of the day these are the most important people to your start-up.
Know your industry
Having an absolutely rock solid knowledge of your industry is vital. To take on board opinions from external sources it helps if you know the background and the best practice.
Photo by jaylopez.