From No Smoke and Mirrors – Soft launch

I completely agree with Mark at No Smoke and Mirrors on his post “Don’t let “FUD” cause you to “soft launch” your next product”.

If a member of one of my teams said we “need” to soft launch a product it would make my skin crawl. A soft launch means you did not thoroughly conduct market research, you are not sure you totally understand the problem you are solving and your solution may not completely solve the need. When someone says soft launch I hear them saying this product is an incremental improvement to a current solution and is not a breakthrough product. I also hear them saying we will throw this product over the wall, into our market and see if it sticks.Team members describe a soft launch as if it were some safe and effective way to launch new products. Their approach is like someone wanting to join the polar bear club and just putting their big toe in the frozen lake to check it out, and saying; I will ease myself in. It simply does not work.

A soft launch is a response to a lack of confidence that your product will be successful in the market. Even a brilliantly planned and executed product launch will not overcome a product that doesn’t address a problem in the market that is urgent, pervasive and buyers are will to pay to solve.

In the world of software “soft launch” is just another form of beta.  Hmmm… just noticed that beta is a four letter word.

David Daniels

David Daniels


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