Why would you not launch?

0. You’re truly not ready. 

A recurring meme is the equivalent of “Just Do It”. Excellent advice, almost all the time. Almost. Except when it’s terrible advice. 

Yes, as someone who has suffered after launching too soon, I will go against prevailing wisdom and suggest the unthinkable, “Maybe you’re really not ready and can do more harm than good by launching prematurely.” 

Just a few of the bad things that can happen: 

1. People will visit once, see that it’s crap and never come back again, no matter what you do. 

2. You will be overwhelmed by support requirements to the extent that all development stops. 

3. You will be overwhelmed by support requirements to the extent that much support never gets addressed. 

4. Your calendar becomes science fiction; everything has changed and it’s a whole new ballgame. 

5. The stress level will become so overwhelming for some of your people that you will simply lose them. Forever. 

6. If you have taken people’s money and not delivered, the guilt can become so overwhelming that it cripples you. 

7. Your marathon has turned into a sprint you cannot finish. You have launched and lost. I love the idea of pushing the envelope and launching sooner rather than later. You must have real world feedback and launching is best way to get it. But launching too early early is just as bad as launching too late. So how do you know when the time is right? I don’t have a definitive answer, but I do know that your gut is a critical input. Sooner or later, you just have to go with it.