Watching a technology product launch happen is truly a thing of beauty, and I say that from the geekiest part of my heart and soul. I’ve been privy to – and worked on – many product launches, including many versions of Microsoft® Office & Microsoft® SharePoint®, but this was my first one at AvePoint where – on the global marketing side of things – the buck ultimately stopped with me.
Weeks and weeks of work, planning, strategy and long hours go into a product launch – with long conversations about this word or that, this color or that color, tweak this, change that, etc. In today’s world of social media and scrutiny, critics and competitors are waiting for you to say or show the wrong thing and be the first to call you out. “Tough crowd” as they say, but it’s true. Instead of cowering into the background, I firmly believe this is what forces you to bring your ‘A’ game and learn more about yourself and your team in the process.
A launch is a thrilling, nail-biting time – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I come from an arts background, theater in particular. This makes me a rabid collaborator (I don’t do silo), and I’ve married that for years with my techie side, so I’ve been in charge of (and managed and watched) many “productions” – campaigns, launches, conferences, keynotes and huge parties – unfold. Just like opening night of a stage play, there are jitters, mistakes, line bobbles, and sometimes your wig falls on the floor (yep, that was me), but that’s the beauty of “live” theater and of this “live” high-tech, hyper connected and at-your-fingertips world we live in. Every day, I look out my window and I’m happy to be a part of it.
Just like theater, everyone plays their own part: Development & Engineering write code; Product Management guides features; Writers push content; Web Owners build in test and staging then push pages to production; Communications writes press releases; Social Media prepares content; and the list goes on and on. The way things finally fall into place is like that single moment as the curtain goes up, lights, sound, action and its off and running. Watching and leading my team for my first launch with them was an utter thrill – with the right amount of stage fright, I think I sprouted a few gray hairs but I’m actually old enough to do that now and I’ll wear them with pride.
How do you measure success on a launch? Obviously the proof is in the bottom line, which we won’t know until later. In the meantime, and even more importantly, I look at new website pages, a syndicated press release with both a quote from Microsoft and a beta customer, tweets gone wild, new blog posts, and emails out to our long-time customers, partners and fans as well as new leads in our systems and planned events/webinars … and I smile. Do I have an OneNote full of items to do better for next time? Absolutely. But today I breathe a small sigh of relief, as the show is OPEN! And like any good Broadway production I know we will gain more and more momentum every day as we sell out the house over and over and over.
Congrats to all of the AvePoint teams – I’m really proud of the classy, cool way we just launched DocAve 6 and that is same way we sell in the marketplace. Make It Shine!
I would love to hear from our customers, partners, fans, and others in the global SharePoint community about what you liked in our launch and things we could do better. I love constructive, honest feedback. What are we without our critics? Bring it on!
Thanks for making the launch process a human one, Heather! I, for one, think of the stress of trying to get key bugs approved by shiproom, the late nights of work when the team rallies together and the intense feeling of accomplishment once it goes out the door! On that note, I’m looking forward to getting my (and my customers’) hands on DocAve 6 🙂