I was reading the Bible this morning, and in Judges 6:36-40 is the story of Gideon. A quick review of this story; God called Gideon to fight the Midianites. What we are supposed to do is obey and take action. However Gideon “tossed fleece.” What he did was a test of sorts, to make sure he would win before he went to battle. He said to God:
“If you will save Israel by my hand as you have said Lord, I will put a fleece on the floor overnight. If the dew is on the fleece only and it is dry on the ground, then I shall know you will save Israel by my hand as you have said”
This passage reminded me of product launches I have experienced over the years. When I wrote: Don’t let “FUD” cause you to “soft launch” your next product, I discussed how we let fear, uncertainty, and doubt prevent us from boldly launching our products and solutions into our markets. Gideon had a clear picture of his mission, he had all the power and wisdom of the universe behind him ,but he had doubt and uncertainty.
I have been following the blogs of Dave Daniels as his experience in launching products comes out in each post. What I enjoy most is his fresh “no smoke and mirrors” approach to launching products. I have yet to read how we are supposed to “put our toe into our market and make sure we will win” before we launch with everything we have.
I have lived through some product horrible launches and often I was to blame for poorly executed launches. The product came out of engineering late, sales was not properly trained, and our marketing failed to hit on time. So we soft launched and if the market embraced this new solution then we would do it the right way. Companies spend millions upon millions of dollars on; R&D, team member time (and the opportunity cost considerations of what they could have been doing), marketing campaigns are funded, sales people are trained and yet very few launches receive the attention they deserve. Dave is currently running a poll that I find very interesting that you can participate in at http://polls.linkedin.com/poll-results/43135/blzpm . He asks a very simple question, “Who is responsible for your launch?” I am very interested to see the results. My guess is the results will confirm this critical stage of the product lifecycle is left to chance, and because no one “technically” owns it, the results are predictable.
When I have experienced teams fleece tossing is when they lack confidence in their product or solutions’ benefit to their customer or they have not treated the launch process with the same urgency and discipline they did in writing the business plan, gaining funding, and or development.
The good news for Gideon is the Lord did give him a sign he would be victorious, and what did he do? He tossed another fleece just to be sure….
How about your team, are you boldly launching products or are you tossing fleece with soft launches?
What causes you team not to give launch the same attention the product received in development?
Does someone own your launch?