Hi, I'm Paul Finn

I'm a full stack web developer with a preference for Python. I also enjoy discussions on entrepreneurship and software marketing.


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Founder Mistakes, Part 1: "Launch Day" Is Not A Strategy

Already thinking about how launch day is going go down? You'll push the repo to production, hit up all the link aggregators, the confetti will rain down and you'll crack open some celebratory beers while the customers to start rolling in. Your inbox will flood with Stripe payment notifications and before you know it, you have one of those awesome four-hour-a-week jobs running your uber-profitable SaaS app.

A common mistake of many (I dare say, most) founders who are launching a product is focusing too much on the launch event. Time and energy spent on things like selecting the exact date to go live or trying to word the perfect linkbait-y headline for Hacker News is superfluous. Sadly, there's even a trend popping up: when is the best time to submit to HN?

The Calendar Doesn't Care

The day and time that you launch means absolutely nothing to the future success of your business. The success of your business depends on your long-term strategy and not the timestamp of your "We're live!" tweet or blog post.

Do you think Basecamp would have failed as a product if it was announced on Tuesday the 8th? How about Sunday morning? Would it generate 12% more revenue if it was announced first thing on a Monday morning? Do you realize how silly this all sounds?

If you think you're ready, push to production. Run some tests. High-five your cofounder. Then get back to work. It won't matter if it's Wednesday at noon or midnight on a Sunday.

If this is your first time launching something, let me share something: you think you'll remember the day you went live, out of excitement and the feeling of achievement, but you won't. So don't waste time thinking about it.

Launch, And Keep Moving Forward!

When Greg and I launched Hoppy Press, our ecommerce store for beer art, it was not on our planned launch day. We had coordinated with some folks at Reddit for a giveaway and one morning we received an email from a mod mentioning he was going to fire up our link on the sidebar. "OK...I guess we're launching" was basically how it went down.

Within the hour, we had our first sale. We had no launch event, we didn't feel prepared and we launched anyway. We were pretty excited, but that didn't mean we were done. The very next day? Busy. We had things to do.

How You'll Succeed: Think Long-Term

You will find yourself making adjustments to your business that will exceed your "launch day" expectations over and over again. Your first conclusive A/B test will lead to higher conversions, worthy of confetti. Improving the copy in your email newsletters will convert 100x more than your launch day traffic. Consistent, high quality blogging for your company stomps any linkbait-y launch headline your can think of.

Invest your time and energy in planning your long-term strategy and not planning your launch day.

Discussion on Hacker News


I hope this was helpful. If you have comments or feedback, please email me at pvfinn at gmail.com. Thanks!

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