We are all early adopters now. Everyone is looking for the new new thing. When someone finds the latest new new thing, technology helps everyone else find out about it and we get to decide if we want to follow along. When done right this process moves lightning fast and blockbuster products surface almost instantaneously. New products cross the chasm faster than they’ve ever crossed before. For remarkable products, the chasm has shrunk.
Despite all this progress, there remains a lack of both art and science in the field of new product launches. We’re simply not moving fast enough or smart enough as we introduce new products because most entrepreneurs and brand managers don’t know how to launch. Billions of dollars go into research and development of new products every year. Billions more are wasted launching new products with misguided attempts to buy attention, interrupt audiences, and reach out to old, mainstream media. Thousands of products die early deaths because of bad launching.
There is a better way.
That’s why I’ve teamed up with Alex Krupp to change the world with LaunchHear. The idea for LaunchHear came out of an experiment called Swagapalooza Alex did during Seth Godin’s Alternative MBA program. We were both very lucky to have been given the opportunity to learn from Seth about bootstrapping, shipping, marketing, creating change, overcoming the lizard brain, becoming linchpins, making art, leading tribes, and being remarkable.
Equally exciting, we recently received seed funding from Y Combinator as part of the Winter 2010 batch. Wow! Y Combinator is without a doubt the best startup incubator in the world. No other incubator has been as consistent and prolific at picking great teams, seeding good ideas, and nurturing solid businesses. Paul Graham and Jessica Livingston invented the modern incubator model. They layer on value by teaching kick-ass product development and exposing us to mentors like Joshua Schacter, Paul Buchheit, and other successful technology entrepreneurs. The seed funding from Y Combinator is insignificant. What matters most is that the YC team has great taste and an incredible network of people.
So we’ll bring to bear all the goodness we learned from Seth combined with the special Silicon Valley way of building scalable technology businesses we learned at Y Combinator. And we’ll be looking to change the worlds of PR and advertising as applied to new product launches.
To bring about that change, we’ll focus on a few things:
- answer the burning question – what’s new?
- answer the passionate question – what’s interesting?
- make select bloggers, tweeters, and netizens happy by providing interesting things to point to
- help new and remarkable products cross the chasm faster
- level the playing field for companies regardless of launch budgets
There isn’t a lot here about tactics or the specific products or tools we’ll build. I want to focus on the big picture and the fundamental core values.
We’re barbarians at the gate, outsiders with strong opinions about what needs changing in public relations and advertising. We’re optimists. We believe that remarkable products can still make the world a better place. We’re passionate. We’re looking for great people who feel as strongly as we do.
Because of our posture and worldview, we’re going to make a lot of people in the PR and advertising worlds very nervous. That’ll signal we are on the right track. Fortunately, there are also a few linchpins, mavericks and brave souls within the castle walls who see the opportunity we see for drastic change and progress.
If you’re one of these brave souls, you can reach me by email at Allan[@]LaunchHear.com – we’ll have loads of fun!