It was 11:45 p.m. on July 31st and I was furiously jumping between slack channels as we worked through the final details in preparation for our launch the very next day. More than half the team was awake and glued to their laptops – we had been planning this day for over a year. We were all heavily invested in a successful outcome.
Well, some amazing (and laughable) things happened, others that were frustrating, and a few that taught me lessons that ultimately led to an experience unlike any other I’ve had in my career.
Here are five things that made this my most unique working experience as a co-founder:
We had 3 months of planning
- We picked a date and stuck to that date
- We scoped out our “musts,” “shoulds” and “coulds” for both product and marketing
- We had weekly (sometimes daily) team alignment communication across all launch projects
- Every marketing channel was discussed and we decided on six that we would put our efforts towards
- We didn’t have strong expectations on what was or was not going to be successful in terms of metrics. We even had fun with the total number of new users and we each had a guess. The winning answer was both the median and the mode of our guesses!
We’ve grown an amazing community in both Philadelphia and Austin
- Our coworking space in Philly, 1776, sang us “Happy Launch Day” and got us a “Launck Day” cake. Yep, “Launck” Day. Someone at Whole Foods jotted down the note, took a look at it and said to themselves “Yep, looks about right.” We ended up with the following:
- August 1st is now “Launck Day” in our calendars and will forever be celebrated by our team
- I sent an email out to 2,000 of my contacts. 51% open rate, 18% click-through rate, and only 36 (2%) unsubscribes. I know exactly who those 36 unsubscribes are though 😉
- We had friends that sent us cookies, donuts, and candy on the big day!
Piqued competitor interest
We had four competitors log into our app! Not just competitors but a founder, a CEO, a CTO, and a product manager from these companies checked us out! Great that we are on the radar.
Last-minute (yet phenomenal) press opportunities
Having worked in the PR industry for the last 12 years, you’d think that I’d understand the importance of earned media. It was a week until we launched, and we still hadn’t secured any coverage. And then I missed my scheduled call with a prominent Austin journalist the day before. Thankfully I caught a break, we had the call, and had a story that broke on the launch! We also got picked up in a couple of other publications here and our press release here.
It is all about the journey and not the destination
Regardless of the outcome, the company was buzzing all the way throughout. Those who know my past are familiar with “closing day” and this definitely felt like a true-to-spirit closing day. A lot of running around and continuously updating our “deals” with new users on the whiteboard.
While all of the above were great anecdotes from the day, the true story came from the team. They killed it. The only reason we had anything to celebrate was because of the hard work that everyone put into the weeks leading up to GA.