Innovative companies love being on the leading edge in their fields, but timing your business launch is crucial if you want to stay in the lead. Not getting there soon enough can be problematic, not only from an innovative perspective, but also from a revenue perspective. There is an internal battle between the product designers and engineers who want to tinker until the product is absolutely perfect, and the business and financial executives who do not want the company to be seen losing its competitive edge by being late to market, not to mention missing out on revenues to keep the company afloat.

Most of all, companies should avoid being on the “bleeding edge” of an industry. You wan to avoid being too far ahead of the curve (where customers just don’t get it) or worse, launching a product with critical flaws. As we have seen time and again, moving too soon can be disastrous. If the “big” boys can make that mistake, then so can anyone else. The difference is that the “big” boys can afford mistakes. Start-ups can’t.  The takeaway? Move with agility, but also with precision.

Timing in Practice

It was long ago that reports of “exploding phones” shocked consumers. When it was all said and done, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was reported to cost Samsung nearly $5.3 billion. Don’t forget to add the lost trust and goodwill from its customer base.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Canada’s former “Belle of the Ball”, scrolling ball that is. For the longest time, Blackberry couldn’t get touch-screens right. It refused to abandon their physical keyboards when everyone else around them switched to touch screens. Ironically, Blackberry’s  physical keyboards are now considered “retro-chic” to some. Blackberry could have avoided releasing buggy touch screen phones had it decided not to play catch-up with Apple and Samsung.

It might sound obvious, but timing your business launch is immensely important. If you have questions about how you can better plan your own product launch feel free to contact our legal professionals in intellectual property and business law for advice.