I should mention one sort of initial tactic that usually doesn’t work: the Big Launch. I occasionally meet founders who seem to believe startups are projectiles rather than powered aircraft, and that they’ll make it big if and only if they’re launched with sufficient initial velocity. They want to launch simultaneously in 8 different publications, with embargoes. And on a tuesday, of course, since they read somewhere that’s the optimum day to launch something.
It’s easy to see how little launches matter. Think of some successful startups. How many of their launches do you remember? All you need from a launch is some initial core of users. How well you’re doing a few months later will depend more on how happy you made those users than how many there were of them.
100% agree. I’m still surprised how few entrepreneurs realize this despite the proof being everywhere you look. I get that you worked really hard on something for months (if not years) on end and you want to see (and want for your team to see) your startup’s name in lights. But it’s so much better when those lights are shined on a star, not an actor in an audition.
Very, very few startups are star-level right out of the gate. Use that time with less of the spotlight to your advantage. Learn how to become the star. Then the spotlight will find you.