Launch Misconceptions

Written by Lee Lin, Co-founder & Partner at Lair East Labs

January 2018

LAUNCHING TIPS

Everyone makes this mistake. They pin their hopes on a big launch event, whether it means getting a burst of press, a release into the app store, a Kickstarter campaign, or even our own Demo Days.

The truth is these types of events at best only provide a small burst that lasts only a few days. They are important ways to potentially gain more partnerships, legitimacy, and team morale, but it's very rare to ride a single event into viral growth. It’s much more likely that the buzz wears off quickly, and you run into what we call the trough of sorrow.

To really grow, you need to build a sustainable service that some of your users love. As we heard last night from one of our mentors, the press loves to highlight the miracle launches or sexy stories of viral growth hacks. The truth is, most companies launch and no one cares.

That’s ok, though. Brian Chesky from Airbnb once told me that they launched at least 5 times, and the first 3–4 times no one cared. The good news is, that lets you get away with launching again, as many times as necessary.

WORKLOAD DISTRIBUTION

The final topic from yesterday’s roundtable was about workload distribution. All founders want to add value and want their teammates to also add value. What makes this very hard in the early stages is that the company has very different obstacles and challenges. Maybe the technical co-founder is the primary bottleneck, or maybe it’s the business founder or both!

But regardless, I want to remind everyone that you are part of a LONG marathon of working together, and this is just the VERY early first mile of the journey should you become successful. If it seems like you are under more pressure to work than your co-founder, know that the situation can and will switch in the future, and be mindful that you can’t do all of the things your co-founders can do.

More on that in the future as we deep dive into team dynamics.

- Lee Lin