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How to Begin a Startup Business

Updated: May 27

For first-time founders, mishandling a startup launch is frequent. The most common mistake is putting undue importance to the launch event and overinvesting time, resources, and effort to get it "exactly right."

This is not unexpected given the glitz and glam that the business media and numerous advertising campaigns lavish on launch events. Furthermore, we have a strong desire to polish anything we provide publicly as much as possible. After all, our own reputation is on the line (or at least this is how it feels).

However, the launch of a new early-stage startup idea differs significantly from the archetypal launch that most people envision.

The crucial discovery that helps a founder obtain the appropriate perspective is that a spectacular launch event is a growth amplifier rather than a growth generator. In other words, if your offering has product-market fit, a successful launch will accelerate your growth. However, if it lacks a product-market fit, a spectacular launch event won't make much of a difference in the long run, regardless of how many resources you put in it or how much publicity you earn from it.

The issue is that you won't know if you have a product-market fit in the first place until you launch. So, in reality, you'd probably have to launch several times before you felt a pull from the market. Obviously, if you invest extensively in each launch, you will quickly run out of resources, which can be fatal if it occurs before you have found product-market fit.

"If you're not humiliated by your first version of your product, you've launched too late" - Reid Hoffman, Linkedin founder

In some ways, a launch event is more of a test of the viability of an offering than a promotional tool for an early-stage firm. The goal is to present your concept to potential clients to determine if they find it beneficial and to use the input to improve your service.


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