3 Critical Tips for Launching Your Product Student entrepreneur David Donner Chait on the importance of acting fast when it comes to getting your creation out there.

By David Donner Chait

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Product development is paramount, but many young entrepreneurs struggle to determine the best time to release their creation.

In late spring of 2012, I began developing Travefy, an online tool that simplifies group travel. Our original vision included a broad array of functionalities that would solve several problems including everything from group scheduling tools, to a detailed itinerary organizer and an expense-sharing platform. This was a lot to undertake and would have led us to a six to 12 month development cycle.

Related: 3 Tips for Turning Your Classmates Into Beta Testers

As adherents of a lean startup mentality, we consequently made significant product development and launch decisions and learned that speed is key and the best time to launch a product is now. Here are three important lessons to keep in mind during the product-development phase.

1. Do one thing, and knock it out of the park. Although our original Travefy vision solved many problems, we ultimately focused on a specific issue in the group-travel lifecycle. This way, we were able to articulate a clear value proposition to users and address all aspects of the problem within a reasonable development timeline. We also built user credibility for a larger product in the future. In other words, we can someday implement much of our original vision.

2. Fake it "til you make it. This doesn't mean you should lie about the services you're providing. Rather, you should look to simple alternate ways to test features before investing in the development of those features. For Travefy, we launched our beta without a fully functioning pricing tool since it would be costly to develop. But we still wanted to test the utility of such a feature. So, we manually provided this information to select users during testing. This was obviously time consuming, but once we knew this information was valued, we set a course to develop the service.

Related: How to Never Miss a Chance to Hype Your Startup

3. Just rip off the Band-Aid. Anyone who has developed a product knows it is impossible to ever feel like it's complete and time to pull out of the development cycle. Nonetheless, at some point you have to take the leap and put your product in front of customers to gain valuable insights from their experiences. The moment we had our minimal-viable product we pushed it out to a group of beta users. The feedback these initial users provided helped us reassess our value proposition and make important product adjustments we otherwise would not have recognized.

What are your top product launch tips? Share them here in the comments section.

**Apply Now** Are you an enthusiastic college- or graduate-student entrepreneur, eager to share your on-campus experiences? Apply to be a YoungEntrepreneur.com College Treps columnist.

David Donner Chait is a second-year student at Columbia Business School and the co-founder of Travefy, a free online tool that helps groups simplify their travel. He previously served as senior policy advisor at the U.S. Small Business Administration and worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. He holds a B.A. in economics-political science from Columbia College.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business Models

A Company With a Conscience — How to Make High-Priced Products Accessible to Working-Class Families

Some products are inherently expensive. Companies can offer leasing programs, financing options and other marketing approaches to make them accessible to working families.

Growing a Business

How to Get Your Business Noticed (and How to Brag About It)

Knowing how to go after important recognition awards and then leverage them can have a long-term impact on your business.


7 Reasons Why CEOs Need to Develop a Personal Brand — and How to Build One.

Here's why crafting a captivating personal brand and origin story is pivotal in today's landscape and how these seven tangible advantages can redefine your success as a business leader.


What's the Best Social Media Influencer Option for Your Business?

The success of an entire marketing campaign involving influencers hinges on the meticulous selection of the right social media blogger. Do you know how to choose the right one?


Deepfakes Are Lurking in 2024. Here's How to Navigate the Ever-growing AI Threat Landscape

Can you tell reality from AI? Discover the evolving threat landscape and the global battle against hyper-realistic deception.