Failure to Launch

The problem; you’re nearly ready to launch a new product, but you’re stuck in the testing phase. It’s understandable, and all too common, for you to hesitate on the brink. There’s a lot at stake—perhaps everything, in your point of view—and ultimately the weight of the choice you make rests on your shoulders. People tend to freeze under those conditions, to waver in their judgment – and to test, test, test.

The problem isn’t really that you’re indecisive—it’s that you don’t trust your tests. And you’re probably right; the problem with so many surveys is that they just don’t ask the right questions, or don’t ask the right people, or don’t ask enough of them to make a reliable representative result possible. The corollary problem is that a lot of smart people think they’ve got to be brilliant at everything, so they don’t delegate, and product testing is one area in which delegating is almost required, since regardless of what you know, you’re probably not an expert at scientific market research. Going with your gut may be how you’ve gotten as far as you have already, but it’s not going to cut it at this stage.

Part of getting bigger is having the wisdom to know what and when to delegate, when and where to invest in getting the smart help you need to move forward. Whether that’s hiring an accounting firm to do payroll, or an architect to design your office space, or marketing intelligence experts to design your questionnaires and give them to the people who are most likely to be your target consumers, knowing what you don’t know and hiring it out will help you get from “stuck in beta” to moving forward.

Donovan Bond

Toronto, Canada