Food for Thought

Common Product Launch Obstacles and How to Overcome Them

1 of 7 series

As I have been deeply involved in product development for a quarter century now, living through startups, doing product launches, visiting trade shows, product testing, mass producing, fulfillment etc., I have noticed some common mistakes that often cause an otherwise perfect opportunity to flat out fail, or lose time and waste capital on the way to market.

First, it’s important that you believe in your product or products 100%. You need to live it, breathe it, and believe that it will contribute something useful and needed to others while being practical and affordable. If any one of the above is lacking from the start, the risk of failure is significantly higher. Usually this can be realized at “alpha” prototype phase, when you’re holding your 1st prototype in its physical form and you’re still loving the idea of sharing it with others.

Next, it’s equally important that others share the belief that your product idea will contribute a useful need or soothe a common pain for the masses or your target niche group. Proving this is called market validation, and overlooking this step is the most common mistake people make. Usually this can be realized at “beta” prototype phase, when you have a dozen or more refined prototypes to share with others (not just family and friends), and they are loving your product enough to actually pay money for it. Better yet, if you can get a purchase order at this point, congratulations, you’ve officially validated the market!