If you are launching a product or starting a new project at work, momentum is the most important thing to consider. Not entirely sure how to keep that momentum going? Let me help you.
Having a new idea, exciting launch, or rolling out new process is pretty fun! Your team, employees, partners, or even customers are fully engaged and supporting you. Then the hangover kicks in. Like all great parties, the day after is a swift shift back to reality. The adrenaline is gone and all thats left is the hard work.
Momentum is a powerful force. But you can quickly lose it. So understanding momentum is crucial.
Think about a ball rolling down a hill. As that ball rolls from the top towards the bottom it will continue to pick up speed (momentum) as the force of gravity is applied. However, once that ball reaches the ground, and gravity is no longer a factor, it will slow down and eventually stop once it is out of momentum. Make sense? Ok so why does this matter?
Let's say you are launching a new product (the ball). You have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about and planning the launch. You likely have invested a ton of time, energy, and even money into this. Essentially what you have been doing is building the hill in which the ball will roll down. You have artificially created gravity by investing in marketing and launch related events. So once you apply your gravity, and your ball starts to roll, the excitement builds. Your product begins to roll down that hill. It is probably picking up steam and you are thrilled with how quickly people are taking notice. But then the ball reaches the ground. The launch events are over, your marketing dollars have run out, and your product stalls. You have lost the momentum.
So what is the lesson here? Of course it is important planning your launch (building your hill). But equally important is planning what to do afterwards. After the excitement goes away. How can you ensure that your product keeps that buzz long enough to make a dent in the market? These are the tougher questions to answer, but they are the most important. All too often we see people raise a bunch of money to bring their product or service to market, but fail to plan on what to do once they reach the market.
Always remeber, the market doesn't care how big your hill is. The market lives at ground level. So if you don't have a strategy to keep your product relevant in the marketplace, it will eventually fail. Once that momentum is gone, so will be your product. Make sure that the hill you build is long and gradual. Keep your ball rolling longer than your competition and you will last longer in the marketplace, which is turn will give you staying power. Play the long game, not the short gain.