How to launch a product successfully without burning out your team
Have you taken an emotional pulse of the internal key stakeholders on the launch? Do they want to continue working with the company?
I’ve worked on more than 200 launches in my career across a variety of industries. Almost every launch requires a tremendous amount of emotional bandwidth, especially if cross-functional communication lines haven’t already been established prior to launch planning.
At best, the GTM deliverables are evenly distributed across various functions in the company. At worst, it rests on the shoulders of the product marketer or GTM owner. This almost always leads to massive burnout for the product marketer.
Sometimes I’ve seen a couple of people own 90% of the work required to get a product to market, so it is often these stakeholders who may need to disconnect and recharge in order to perform well. The difficulty is that these few people often hold most of the information for the launch and the continued success of the launch.
It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.
— Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last
It is an important practice for the company to engage in launch day rituals and acknowledge the level of energy that was put into a launch. I’ve seen many product marketers take a much-needed vacation after a big launch at a company with a disengaged cross-functional team that didn’t know how to own or manage the launch without them, which led to disastrous consequences.
I want to share a story I read in the book Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, about the team working on the film, Toy Story 2.
Because the film required so much effort from the team and left them exhausted, one staff member accidentally left his baby in a vehicle in the company parking lot. That, of course, is an extreme example but makes the point that working on a launch to exhaustion does not guarantee long-term success.