How To Launch a Minimum Viable Product As a Version 1.0

Six places to cover your bases

Stage 1: Never launch without customers

By the time you’re done with your MVP, you should have a lot of customers.

  1. Power users. These are the customers who use your product or service a lot, even if they don’t love it. You want to keep an eye on their habits and you want to talk to them about their usage. They’re going to give you the data you need to reduce friction and improve usability for the next big batch of customers.
  2. VIPs. These are customers who can open doors for you in terms of partnerships or large future customers. Give them anything you can for free, and keep them close by. You don’t need to ask for anything specifically, but you’re hoping their usage results in something bigger.

Stage 2: Slow down your release roadmap

The build cycle during the pre-launch days is a wide-open range of possibilities. Once you launch Version 1.0, those build cycles get a lot tighter, and they’re filled with hot fixes and necessary enhancements.

Stage 3: Automate onboarding from discovery to value

What happens if you succeed beyond your wildest expectations?

Stage 4: Make tighter marketing and sales plans and measure the success

Last month, I changed two words in an email and my conversions for that email went up 300%. That percentage increase flowed all the way through the funnel to the sale, and has stayed there for the entire month. I’m not a marketing genius, I just learned something from my launch and applied that learning.

Stage 5: Insert feedback loops into support

In the previous stage, you’re adding early warning when things go right so you can take action to maximize the opportunity. In this stage, you’re adding early warning when things go wrong so you can minimize the damage.

Stage 6: Keep a lot of financial powder dry

Too many companies launch a Version 1.0 of their product without a financial plan for the launch. Don’t be the company that lets success destroy them.

I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Sold ExitEvent. Building TeachingStartup.com & GetSpiffy. Former Automated Insights. More info at joeprocopio.com

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