Five Lessons Learned From a 30 Day Launch Delay

I am currently 30 days into the Apple app review process attempting to get an app ( on the iTunes App Store. If you haven’t heard, the process is not easy. Almost launching every 4–5 days has been extremely frustrating. During this time period, we also saw a competitor make a big splash (more on that later). We can save the Apple rant for another day, but given I have some down time, I wanted to share what I have learned from these roadblocks.

Get out of beta as soon as possible. I know, beta is nice. It’s exciting and fun. It feels like you are making progress and the risk is low. However, there is only so much you can learn while in beta. If you are bringing value to someone, launch now.

Launch early — I’ve heard this a million times from trustworthy entrepreneurs but, for some reason, I thought I was different. My emotions got in the way. I was worried more about what people would think rather than shipping product. I even fell into the fallacy of: “What if it blows up? We aren’t ready!”. Yeah, keep dreaming.

If you are launching an iOS app, read the Apple Review Guidelines in excruciating detail and ask yourself “could they reject me for this?” on each guideline. Because they will. Here is a good example of what the review process can be like.

Focus on what you can control. When you are sitting “in review” it feels as if life is on pause. It’s not. Go get a customer, write a blog, or explore other ways you can bring value to potential clients. Make connections, talk with people, and find creative ways others could use your product or service.

Competitors are one of the best forms of validation. After a similar app made a big splash recently, I first took it as a huge negative. Ironically, I have found people are now taking us more seriously because big names are betting on our space.

What no one told me about “the process” is how emotionally vested you become and how that magnifies the downs (much more than the ups). So when you hit roadblocks, do what you can to turn them into positives.