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Stop Launching. Start Shipping.

I love launches. We all love launches. It takes work to bring an idea to life, even more work to make something people want to use, and much more work to make something enough people are willing to pay for. This post should empower you to celebrate your launches, but remember to measure what matters.

I’ve developed a rhythm for taking many ideas from conception to customers. But unfortunately, I’ve also worked on a few ideas that failed to “launch.” There are many reasons; I’ll cover one of them here:

failure to focus on numbers, not feelings.

The secret to a successful launch is setting clear business goals and establishing measurable performance indicators. For example, how will you build your list of people who could use your solution? How many people can you actually reach? How many of those people care enough to want more information? How many of those people are actively looking for a solution? How many of those people become customers? Was this a profitable customer conversion cycle? How often can you repeat this cycle? Let’s do some math; assume that your marketing channel is email:

  • Step 1: Send an email to 10,000 people that represent your target audience.
  • Step 2: The average email open rate is 20% (industry agnostic): 2,000 opened the email.
  • Step 3: The average clickthrough rate is 2-5% (industry agnostic): 100 people downloaded/read the information 
  • Step 4: 10% of those people are in the market for what you’re selling: 10 people
  • Step 5: 10% of those people become customers: 1 customer

Fun Fact: Step 1 is REALLY tough but doable if you’re focused and committed to measuring the right things at the right time.

Also: Remember to measure your costs. How much does it cost to acquire one customer (in this example, via email)?

Kishau is an award-winning technology entrepreneur on a mission to amplify human capability and solve the world’s increasingly complex problems with computer science, systems thinking, and creative intelligence. She is the CEO of Time Study Inc., which empowers leaders with intelligent tools to build a better workplace by optimizing time and creating more value for the enterprise’s greatest resource, people. Her work is featured in many leading publications, including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CNN Business, and Black Enterprise. Kishau has a deep background in Computer Science, over 25 years of experience building and shipping enterprise software solutions, and more than 15 years of entrepreneurial leadership.