So, before we start let’s clarify the fact that there’s obviously going to be a tonne of variables. The time you allow yourself is therefore going to depend a great deal on the complexity of your project, where you are in development, the experience of your team, and last but no way least, the budget you have at your disposal. In determining our vague timeline we’re going to make some basic assumptions first. Let’s start by assuming that your team is in place, you’ve all been around the blockchain before, and that you’ve got a beta system up and running, a few bucks in the bank, a legible if wordy whitepaper, and the first sprinkling of social media and industry interest. If you haven’t got the full checklist ticked yet, then you can add some time to any prediction we come up with.
When planning it’s always better to start in the future. So get your calendar out and stick in a pin on a future date. Let’s begin by choosing something in the region of six months ahead. This is just a provisional date, and it won’t be set in stone. Now, scan that whole month. Is there anything about it that jumps out? Does it include any national holidays, religious festivals, or legally or financially important dates like tax deadlines, national elections, or the like? All clear? Good. Ok, so let’s aim for the start of the month. The start of the month is always the best time to launch something, don’t fight your calendar, work with it. Once you have settled on a specific date, also choose a specific time. Morning is usually best, although there are exceptions and of course, if your project has international appeal, you’ll need to decide on the best Time zone to focus on. For true global projects, around 8 or 9 pm GMT is usually a good place to start. This is a time when most of the world will be awake and active to some degree. If your project is a national one, then obviously you should choose the best local time. Let’s assume for now, however you’ve chosen 9 am GMT on the first Monday of the Month for your launch.
The key to a successful launch is organization and it’s essential that you know if your project is on track. To achieve this, you’ll need to set up a series of checkpoints. Working backward from your provisional launch date you add a checkpoint on the last Thursday afternoon of each month. The reason to choose Thursday is to give you and your team the chance to address anything you’ve missed. You can call the checkpoints anything you like, but since each of them will have a specific function it’s a good idea to make it obvious where you are.
Set the first checkpoint in your launch diary for the last Thursday of the month. Call it anything you like but the point of this checkpoint is to make sure everyone is assigned a role and understands their part in the plan. This is the assigned task checkpoint. During this meeting, it’s essential that everyone not only understands their part in the plan but that everyone also has a copy of the plan. Synchronize watches, Google calendar, and make sure everyone knows what’s coming.
The next checkpoint should be set for the end of the second month, and this is the operational checkpoint. At this stage, you should either have a working beta system or a plan to have one in place by the next checkpoint. You should also make sure to listen to any and all concerns and collectively decide if you’re still on track for your proposed launch. It’s important to note too that at this stage you can still move your launch date because you haven't even announced that publicly yet. That hurdle is the point of the next checkpoint.
Set the date for the announcement checkpoint for the last Thursday of the third month. By now, you should have a dedicated team all on the right track, a working beta and the confidence to know if you’ll be ready to launch on time. Obviously, if there is any issues you can’t overcome by the weekend then you can delay your launch if need be. If everything is going to plan though, the next checkpoint should focus on social media, the press, marketing, and promotion. Once again set the date for the last Thursday of the month and make sure everyone has a clear role.
This penultimate checklist serves a double purpose. First and foremost, you need to ensure that everything is working as it should. Triple check all the technology, infrastructure, legality, finance, and red tape and tick them all off one by one. It’s also important at this stage that you highlight any key publications, websites, press, influencers, content creators, social media platforms, and strategic partners you wish to reach, even if you’ve already contacted some of them. At this stage, it’s also worth considering moving the launch date if you feel you want more time. Remember, the closer you are to launch the worse the delays sound.
If everything has gone to plan, the last checkpoint should take place on the last Thursday of the final month, and this is where the plan comes together. If you’ve stayed on track, this last checkpoint is an opportunity to quadruple-check the launch details, crack the champagne open, thank your team, and get ready to light the fuse come Monday morning.
Of course, six months is an arbitrary number, some projects are far more complex and will take longer to wrestle into shape, while others are simple enough to launch in a month. The key to remember is that you know your project better than anyone and you will know what timeframe suits best.