Market first and product last
This is a guest post by Rex Chan, your fellow developer and our long-term customer, in which he explains the reasons of his failure to launch a new product and gives some good advice on how not to make the same mistakes.
Hi all! Following was my failure story…
In year 2009, I had completed development my product "Outlook zip helper" (Outlook addon with handling zip/unzip attachment capacities) and tried to promote it. And I asked myself several questions, how and where to promote it. I came up answer was "web marketing". Then I studied books and web content around "web marketing" topics. I believed If I do it well for SEO of my website, landing page and video marketing. Then my product must well known and earn money. I tried to launch my website and promoted it via SEO. I hoped and pray customer will come and buy it. I think you know the result, "No Customer". I failed to launch my product.
In year 2010 to 2012, I googled around case studies, books about "How to launch software product". I found a book "Start small and stay small". The author (Rob Walling) told me the truth about right path to launch product "Marketing first, Product last". I realized that I made serious mistakes, "I missed out validated product idea before development", I wasted 3 years to develop no one wants product.
In year 2014, I attended "Bootsart" course for learning "LEAN Startup" to further solidify my launch software process.
In year 2015 to now, I restart my journey and using new approach to launch product.
Following are my steps:
- Find target customer segment (My target is ETSY's seller).
- Study target customer pain and needs (I study ETSY's forum and jot down their pain).
- Competitor analysis (Study existing application ETSY's seller using and what application target for).
- Develop several hypotheses to validate product problem/product idea fit.
- Proceed experiments to see whether hypotheses right or not.
- If right go further (develop product).
- If wrong, find root cause why, i.e. wrong customer segment, wrong customer pain or wrong traction channel to reach customer.
- Final action, proceed or give up.
I am sharing this with you as it reminds us that don't make my same mistake again. We re-think product launch cycle, i.e. "Marketing first, Product Last", make sure validated product idea before any development and niche market for your product.
Thanks for your reading