Don't launch your ideas

Max Girkins

16 days ago

3 minute read

Why you should pre-launch instead

Startups are difficult, ideas are plentiful, and hard work increases luck. These three ideas illustrate why you should be way more careful about what you launch. If something is hard to do then you have to devote a lot of time and attention to it, both of which are limited resources. Ideas are famously plentiful so we should be less attached to ideas as more will always come along. Hard work increases luck as our hard work makes a dent in the world that attracts opportunities. Therefore if you’re going to put hard work into a difficult project like a startup you must make sure that the idea/hypothesis underlying your plan has value as the very first thing you do. We make wild assumptions about what people want all the time and the quickest way to test those assumptions is to share your ideas with the market.

An MVP is a great way of doing this but even better is to pre-launch an idea without even an MVP. You’ll save weeks/months of work, your idea will be more malleable as you won’t have spent so long going down one avenue with your MVP and you’ll be less attached to your idea and therefore more easily able to kill it before you waste too much time. Most ideas aren’t worth working on.

If you’ve pre-launched an idea and the market has responded positively then you’ll already have momentum, potential customers and some idea of how your idea needs to develop to serve those customers.

“But someone will steal my idea”

This is a common refrain, but if you’re going to build something amazing then that hopefully means you’re uniquely positioned to execute that idea and therefore copycats aren’t a problem. Furthermore, most ideas aren’t unique as you’re probably not the only one who saw the same gap in the market unless you work in some incredibly niche area in which case the previous point about unique positioning applies. Given your idea is not unique you might as well start building momentum and refining your idea so it’s ready to outcompete others in the market.


  1. Build the most basic landing page outlining your idea and add an email form using HypeKit or any other tool you like (speed is of the essence)
  2. Market the hell out of it for a week or so. Post on social media, cold call people, write blog posts etc.
  3. See how people respond and kill it fast if it’s not a great response.
  4. If you haven’t killed it, Iterate on your idea until people are begging you to build it. Otherwise, go back to step 1 and think of a new idea.
  5. Build an MVP and start charging for it…Look at that you already have an extensive list of potential customers!

The best thing is you can do this in parallel for multiple ideas at a time and the more you do it the better your understanding of the market and your assumptions become.

Let’s stop wasting our time and work on ideas that matter instead of building yet another to-do list app! (I would know… 😂)

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