How To

Startup Launch Playbook

We fully believe in breaking down the barriers to launching a startup. At The Upstarters we work with companies through an intensive 4 week, customised program to focus on Launch and/or Growth.

We have decided to share our playbook so others can learn what the top-level of launching looks like.

Get from idea to launch, quickly and effectively.

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Planning and Preparation

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Planning and Preparation

Start at the end

Ask questions: Why are we doing this? Where do we want to be in X, Y, Z months/years?

Look ahead and visualise: What caused it to fail? How did it go wrong?

What questions need answering?

To hit the long-term goal, what is essential?

Turn assumptions and obstacles into questions.

Map out the problem

Sketch out customers first (different types) and then the end goal/what you want the customer to accomplish.

Fill in the steps to detail the flow and actions along the customer journey.

Interview experts & contacts

Ask professionals, experts, people in the industry and your network to see what their opinion is.

Consider the strategy of the project, what the voice of the customer could be and what could the product mechanics be.

Target a Minimum Viable Segment

Focus on one target customer and what one main event the product satisfies.

Does this line up with the long term goal(s)?

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Customer Development

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Customer Development

Proposed flow

List your big interesting ideas and mix them with other current product versions. Write down several versions of the proposed flow. Discuss, quickly.

Creating storyboard & wireframe

Pick the best solution (there may be a couple) and then storyboard and wireframe it.

Design material for feedback

Put together surveys, polls, open questions and/or scripts for customer interviews. What medium works best for your target?

Do customer interviews

Do 1-on-1 interviews by video and screen share. Record them (with permission) to look back on later to make notes.

Use open-ended contextual questions about the customer. Show them the storyboard and wireframe. Get the reactions to each section.

Reflect and learn

Look at the notes made and screen recordings. Identify customer patterns. Do the patterns align with your long term goal(s)?

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Building shit, fast

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Current solutions in the market

What are your customers alternatives to your solution? What are the pain-points of this solution? What are the pros? What does the flow look like?

Proposed solutions

Using the feedback of your wireframe, does it need tweaking? Wireframe new solutions based on feedback and current solution improvements.

Make decision

Pick the best solution(s) to build a MVP

Pick tools & build

Consider what tools can be used to put together your MVP. A website builder, Keynote, 3D printer, chatbot or even prototype the marketing materials.
Now, build it.

Run through & test

Run through the flow of your MVP. Test everything.

Tweak & iterate

See if anything needs tweaking or revisions and implement them.

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Launch that rocket

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Execute launch plan

Make a list of marketing channels to explore. Where do your users hang out? Think of a blog post you can put together for the launch. What materials do you need to get prepared for launch? PR kit, images, links etc.

Make a list of your network to help share the news.

Analytics implementation

Make sure your analytics channels are set up to measure the core KPIs you want to monitor. Ensure you know how to read and optimise analytics.

Submit online & outreach

Submit it to places like Reddit, Hacker News, Product Hunt, Facebook Groups. Post your blog article. Do you have a PR plan to execute?

Try and open yourself up to constructive criticism and feedback.

Engage customers from week 2

Reach out to the customers you interviewed previously about your new, improved version.

Final learnings & revisions

Collect the launch feedback, metrics and general response. What worked? What didn't? Are they any further tweaks that cant be made?

3-6 Month plan

Put together a plan for the next 3-6 months. What to focus on, how to execute and experiments to conduct.

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