In this post, I’m going to dissect how to launch a project, and I’m going to explain it in 3 different ways:
A. 10 productive thoughts on how to launch a project
1. Projects that require big budgets are a heavyweight for launching; many constraints going on. On the other hand, small or creative / no resources projects are very likely to be launch more easily. Develop plans without significant resources; if you learn how to make it through the scarcity, you will win. Learning how to do less with more helps you to do more with more.
2. Avoid the “you-need-a-business-plan” tale. You do not. Most of the time.
3. Don’t look for validation about your project; your idea-project will Visualize.
4. Don’t invite ego to the party. Assume you shall have to trash frequently and a lot. No problem, admit it.
5. Set a launching date (deadline), o matter what happens, you must stick to the period. Then, when it comes, launch.
6. Hire your weaknesses. Focus on your core area and strength. Look for the right people, not only the one that makes the project more powerful but the ones whom you can trust to and commit.
7. Assume you’re going to launch, and you’ll fail at something. Wear the “permanent beta” t-shirt and enjoy the ride.
8. Test first with your best critics.
9. Build and launch a campaign that tells a wrong and harmful story about your project; when you launch, people will be caught off-ward.
10. Build a tactical promotion plan. Develop some creative campaigns that get you closer to the people who may be interested in your project. Set up an email account “tryme@_____.com” so every time someone sends an email, they will get an automated reply that contains a reward, discount, or a surprise.
That’s how to launch a project (valid version).
B. How to launch a project is marketing (the stages)
For me, marketing covers everything, because (as you may know), I think it means a positive impact. This blog, the Disrupt Everything podcast, Los Chispazos, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, and other media, are tools that help me spread that impact and that kind of marketing. But it’s creating and launching a project that treasures the most crucial part of all.
The stages of a project are:
- Intuit a change.
- Visualise the impact.
- Feel stuck.
- Divide a result.
- Share a vision.
- Be rejected.
- Find the place.
- Build it.
- Edit it
- Pitch it.
- Plant the seeds.
I’m still in love with this process, despite having repeated it hundreds of times in the last 13 years. I must confess that I can’t wait to get my hands dirty thinking on how to launch a project again.
There’s a vast difference between participating in someone else’s project and starting your own. Because at the core of the project is the mentality of initiation and improvisation of a business owner. It’s yours, nobody else’s, it’s your responsibility, that is why you must do something with it that you are proud of, you must change things for the better, because it’s yours, it’s your opportunity.
Projects and their world have changed over time. It’s easier than ever to create and launch, thanks to the digital economy. Also, the distribution is faster and cheaper. Before, we needed permission, partners, sponsors, a large capital, the power of information, or a platform (record label, advertiser, television, etc.) to spread the word, which meant a lot of time, opportunity, and complexity. Not anymore.
Remember this before going all-in on how to launch a project.
Creating and launching a project gives life
Creating and launching a project now is ridiculously simple, which is why we can spend more time focusing on what our potential audience wants and not on liking and pleasing intermediaries. There is no longer someone who says, “ok, I’ll publish you,” or “ok, you will be in the show.”
For me, the trick is not to represent the client, or the publisher, or the merchant. But represent the project, speak for the project, turn it into what it needs to be. During all of these years, I have realised that each project becomes more intimate than the one that came before.
Your work is your project
The lack of an access door represents a fabulous change. Before we needed that kind of permission. Now, it’s much easier to go to the market we need to find our internal compass, which will replace the external one which we used to depend on.
The lesson here is that we are often so busy doing the job that we forget to do our job.
It’s also possible to promote your work. Go on stage, present a show, or blow people away by your performance. The goal is to create something urgent, temporary, and essential that connects with the public, competitors, colleagues, and media.
What’s your project? What are you creating and launching?
C. A kit to start – and launch – anything
There is something valuable in insolence and ignoring general recommendations. Skip pedantic feedback. Ignore unsolicited advice. Even if this comes from people, we admire. Take only what serves you and transform it under your essentials, principles, and own pragmatism. This is about launching and starting anything.
Dissect the impossible
Surely you already know the repeated advice on chopping up the significant challenges and making them small and attainable.
Work on one thing at a time.
Give small portions.
None of this is wrong, because it works.
Not sure how to sell your product or how to make your service more popular? Dissect your product or service on the one hand, and how to help and amaze customers on the other. See if it works. Try something different if not. Stop planning too much. Just go for it. Did you reach your goal?
About how to start a project – and anything
t’s an issue that I have spoken about before, so I won’t make this long. The only thing I can add is that “I’m going to launch,” “I’m going to do,” “about to decide on,” “I want to start.” are similar to “still collecting information” or “analysing.” Nobody is starting; they’re just doing nothing.
To start anything, you must launch anything; it’s that easy.
The kit to launch anything
1. Choose something and launch it. This is my launch kit in a simplified version:
Pick a project that you have in mind and think could be exciting. Maybe launch a course, a podcast. Write a book or a social initiative. Work for a company.
2. Write the list of lists:
- Ten topics that I need to develop to deepen the project. Whatever it is.
- Fifteen key elements that I need to master before continuing.
- Eight threats that I need to anticipate in some way.
- Six weaknesses I need to work on until they are no longer weaknesses.
- The next ten steps I need to take before, during, and after launching.
3. Reserve 45 minutes a day to work on any of those lists. What could you measure as an indicator of firstly your progress, and secondly your success?
4. Who can help me move faster? Make a list and contact those people if you have questions or concerns about how to continue.
5. Who could collaborate with me so that my “project” is more solid and powerful? Find those people or businesses and isolate yourself.
I am quite obsessed with taking action. What precisely prevents us from this action is to think that our problems or challenges are gigantic. So much that we won’t be able to face them, all of this before we start. This simple process of dissections and finding entry points is very useful.
Mainly because it allows us to leave resistance to change behind.
2017, it may be your year or not. It depends on the action you decide to take. Here is a kit to get you ready to launch anything.
C. Why do we keep losing? 6 lessons on creating projects
Because we sell empty dreams: think of any great show that comes to mind. Why not create projects, instead of creating perfect scenarios or setting unattainable expectations which we will pay a very high price for later?
Think of all the money invested in creating stadiums, racing circuits for cars or motorcycles, tennis courts, concert arenas, etc. I’m not saying they’re not necessary, what I question is what we get in return, and if we should invest so much. In the long term, the city, the business, the people, will lose money, no doubt about it. Probably a lot of money. More money than we can visualize. Everybody.
Why is this phenomenon still happening?
Because, despite the large amounts of documented evidence against this type of investment, it is what (supposedly) must be done to be successful and popular.
Lessons about creating projects
However, creating projects and impact marketing makes these types of events leave fundamental lessons:
- The project is now. It is imminent. It is yes or no. You can’t study it for a year or a decade and return to it as if nothing.
- A good team is needed—this group of connected people that act as a lever that turns apathy into support or opposition.
The project is specific. Is there any other way in which your city could have efficiently invested 50 million euros? Surely they could have created better access, a stronger education, and adapted to today’s world. They could have invested in technology or propelled the labour market. No doubt, there is an infinite number of alternatives vs. only one specific.
You start with the end in mind. When you build a colosseum, you get a colosseum. When you celebrate the Olympics, you get the Olympics. This is rarely true for the most important and necessary alternatives (but much less visually urgent).
People with power, and in power, will benefit from it as high impact projects attract large vendors, suppliers, and investors. The Titans take positions, as do politicians looking for great returns. And it goes without saying of the experience that these profiles have when conducting these types of “projects.” Which means they are better at driving to create inertia.
There is a certain tribal patriotism in operation. “What do you mean you don’t support your city?”
This applies to every major event (and project) in the crowd. Bear in mind this if you are about to launch a project.
For me, the great lesson is to realize that the loose-leaf folder of an economist or entrepreneur with instinct has zero opportunities, in the face of human emotions and the energy of a community. If you want to make something happen, you can learn a lot from those who create titanic movements. They earn a lot, yes, but what can you take advantage of this? Little or nothing.
However, and on the other hand, the other interesting lesson is that today you can create your little big project – in essence, a movement that positively impacts a specific group of people wanting a “solution” like yours – and then be your resource, and win your daily battle against yourself.
That is what really matters: create projects and launch them.
What’s you experience on how to launch a project without too much complexity?
And, how to launch a project without any of this non-requested advice?