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Starting a Tech Business: A Practical Guide for Anyone Creating or Designing Applications or Software by Alex Cowan

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The Launch: Is It Working?

In Chapter 1, we reviewed a few lightweight methods for reality testing your key assumptions, such as search term analysis, customer interviews, Google AdWords, and prototyping. In the case of Enable Quiz, Andrew learned the following:

  • Technical quizzes don't look like an existing product category, at least by that name.
  • There was a surprising amount of interest in Windows Server quizzes.
  • Firms that do technical staffing and contracting look like a good early market.

You confirmed the product functions as designed during Beta and hopefully had a chance to do some validation of useability and the on-boarding process. Enable Quiz found a few issues at that point and had to revise its schedule, which was worth it. You put a basic process infrastructure in place. It didn't need to be elaborate, but it's key to avoiding waste and burnout, and it puts you in a great position to scale.

Now you're at launch, which means you're offering your product to the general public. In the dot-com period, this usually meant you were spending huge amounts of cash in hopes of being an early winner in your category. It doesn't anymore. If you're in a new market, you should shepherd your resources as you perfect your model and develop your customer base. The newer your market, the more careful and deliberate you have to be. New markets can take years to develop: Overstaffing and overspending before your market goes mainstream is a classic failure mode for tech startups. The ...

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