As a founder/creator, I often struggle with launching my products and ideas. It seems like the “launch” is this huge step where an idea makes a leap from 0 to 1. From nonexistence into a sudden loud existence, shocking everyone in the process, and hence generating lots of pressure.
This can be terribly crippling, however, since ideas and products feed off of usage and thrive on it. Depriving an idea from usage is like depriving it from oxygen. Therefore, one must put an idea out there as soon as possible, and avoid perfectionism at any cost.
To add to that, if my idea is deprived of feedback as a founder, I would suffer the consequences of low motivation. Usage and feedback give creators pulses of motivation towards their projects. An idea that is out there and public, even if it has 1 user, is much better than one that never sees light.
In order for me to accomplish this, I started thinking about the act as Going Live instead of Launching. A launch sounds terrifying, suggesting a big bang of awareness and publicity. Going Live, on the other hand, merely suggests putting the idea out there. This may be more true for the internet than elsewhere, but going live is probably not going to get anyone’s attention at first. What you’re doing is always bigger in your head than it is in reality.
Launching is like calling everyone you know telling them to come see you launch yourself on a rocket that you built over a few weeks to get to the top of a mountain. Going Live is like taking the first step in your hike to the summit, without telling anyone to come watch.
In the first example, you know that a lot can go wrong, and therefore you keep pushing it for later. In the second example, however, doing it is pretty easy since nobody’s watching, and you start accumulating spectators (aka users) with time.
After going live, you can slowly share your product with the world, one human at a time. Start with close friends, small online communities, and grow from there. We’re often mostly frightened by what the people we know would think. A good trick also is to only share your idea with strangers at first (Reddit is a good place for anonymity). What’s the worst that could happen?
Launching versus Going Live may sound like just semantics, but semantics often have all the impact on our perception.
Putting my ideas out there is now a lot less frightening. If you already have an audience, you can take your new idea live elsewhere under a different name. But depriving it from oxygen is the worst thing you could do.
What ideas are you depriving from oxygen? Take them live, and make them alive.