Home So You’ve Launched, Now What?

So You’ve Launched, Now What?

After months of hard work, designing and building your product, you launch. You’ve sent out press releases, and you’re all prepared for “go.” And then…

Sometimes things simply fall into place. There’s tons of buzz. You pick up customers rapidly.

And sometimes things sort of go nowhere.

That was the experience of time-tracking software startup Chrometa, who recently described its experience with a launch that, in its own words, “flopped.” In a blog post, the startup goes on to address the question: “You launched your app, now what?”

Chrometa chronicles its progress post-launch. Chrometa 1.1 launches in March of 2009 but “nobody cares.” In June, the startup gets coverage in Technolawyer, the “perfect advertising medium” for a software company that aimed at solving the time-tracking and billing needs of attorneys. The company picked up a few subscribers from the initial write-up, and quite a few more when Chrometa 2.0 was covered by Technolawyer in August.

Although the company had amassed about 50 paid subscribers, “we soon hit a bit of a lull after the initial buzz wore off. So we tried to figure out: How can we keep excitement going for a product that’s very well received by customers, but is not inherently viral itself?”

The challenge for Chrometa was to maintain momentum, to continue to develop sales and adoption. To do so, Chrometa called each customer who bought the product, reached out to legal industry publications, and continued to work on upgrades to the product. “Continued product improvement was THE most important thing we did over this time period.”

The “lessons learned,” according to Chrometa, were:

  1. Focus on one, and only one, initial market.
  2. Don’t get discouraged. “As long as your customers are paying for your product – and they are happy with it after their purchase – you are doing fine. That means the fundamentals of your situation are good. And you just need to go find more customers – and that is very doable (easier said than done, but doable!)”
  3. Buzz and press coverage won’t necessarily make your business.

Chrometa’s experiences demonstrate some of the things startups should keep in mind post-launch. “Launch” does not mean “done,” so it’s important to budget for further development. If you’re giving away a free trial, it may be a while before you have paying customers. But nonetheless, as Chrometa found, these early users can provide great insights into what works and what doesn’t work. Using the analytics gleaned from them, continue to work on design.

As Chrometa shows, at the early stages of a startup, it’s necessary to work hard for every user, but that attention to the customer will help you build a better product.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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