If You Build It, They Won’t Come

About a month ago, I made a post here announcing a kickstarter.  I created a character that has some popularity in the software development community and hypothesized that people might enjoy related merchandise.  My wife had some time and an interest in exploring entrepreneurial ventures, so she created the kickstarter.

We didn’t necessarily think we had a great shot at raising such an ambitious funding goal, but you never know until you try.  So, we tried.  And, unfortunately, we fell considerably short.

Before going further, I’d like to offer sincere thanks to those who backed the campaign and to those who participated in the giveaways.  We had some fun, learned a bit about crowdsourcing, and some readers got Expert Beginner swag.  While we won’t be stocked with a year of inventory and operating a shopify store, we did learn a good bit.

Product Launches by Those Who Don’t Launch Products

In the last year or so, I’ve learned a lot about business in various forms.  I listen to podcasts about freelancing, consulting, and entrepreneurship.  As I mentioned recently, I’m also participating in a mastermind group, wherein we discuss business ventures and operations.  I’m also exploring different business models and branching more into productized services.  Add that to the ongoing learning of running my business, and you wind up with a lot of inbound information.

Among all of this information comes a good bit about product launches.  If you view the world the way I’ve spent most of my life viewing it, you probably think that this means tying a bow on it, shipping it, kicking back, and waiting to profit.  For instance, you might spend a few months building a killer app for Android and/or iPhone.  When finished, you ship it to the app store, slap a price on it, and wait for users to discover it and put money in your pocket.

Sure, you’d do a bit more than that.  You’d tell you friends and family, resulting in your mom buying one to show other members of your family how proud she was of her little entrepreneur.  You’d tweet about it once or twice, probably resulting in no sales.  And then you’d surrender yourself to the mercy of the app store.

Product Launches Done Right

Most of my life, that was how I imagined product launches would go.  I even daydreamed this narrative from time to time.  Someday, I’d write a book or build a piece of software that would magically go viral, and I’d find myself on easy street.  (After all, what fun are daydreams involving the messy business of self promotion?)

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