We have usually given a ton of importance to launch day. Again and again, at the end of the development cycle for a new product, after a week of refinements and feedback from friends and colleagues, we focused on launching the product to a big splash on Product Hunt and tried to get as much press as possible.
This works when you want to spin up a side project for fun, but has shown its limits when you want to create long-lasting businesses. A big launch day must be thought as a marketing opportunity, a day in which to get extra attention for your product easily. It's up to you to get the most out of that day by launching with a validated product, that has a working revenue, referral, retention and activation strategy (or at least your best shot at it). Launching a product hold together with duct-tape is useless and equivalent to throwing water into a leaking bucket, you will probably end up with no water in it at the end of the day.
It's for these reasons that this time, after a 6-week sprint we are going to launching to a super-small group of friends (20 people tops) an MVP with just the basic value proposition of Mailbrew. It will offer the core features, won't have monetization, but we will make sure to onboard users one by one. After honing the core product and making sure it provides a great value (this will take care of retention) and making sure that value is evident and easy to get to with optimized signup flows (activation), we will move on to think about revenue and referral. Doing this from the start is crucial, time and time again we have seen that attaching a referral program to a service as an after-though rarely works.
Overall I am pretty excited about this new strategy, and standing at week 2 of 6 of the MVP sprint, I have big hopes for Mailbrew. Can't wait to tell you all how things turn out.