Fail Story: The Awkward Silence of Launching into Nothingness

I felt like the world was against me.

I know it was my own fault.

It is already quite some years ago. In 2011, I made my first app.

I  was reading about people making millions of dollars from tiny iPhone apps.

"I could do that." I thought to myself.

So I went out and bought the cheapest Mac I could find, a Mac Mini.

For 2 months watched tutorials, read articles and books to learn how to code iOS apps.

Spent hours trying to come up with a million dollar idea.

After a while, I came up with an idea to an app. In my mind, I had validated the idea by asking the question "Would it be cool to have on my own phone?". The answer was, Yes. So I thought "I guess everyone else would buy this app too".

I went on to code for 12 hours a day for two weeks.

I was excited about my new product, and the accomplishment it was to go from idea to a working app.

One day, I uploaded it to the Apple AppStore.

Hitting the Save button was both an intimidating experience and a bit of an empty feeling. Because immediately after clicking, nothing happened. And it stayed like that for one week. No answer, no nothing.

Then one night, at 3 AM I got an email from Apple.

The message in the mail was: "Your app is live on the AppStore."

I was surprised. Of course, I hoped for having the app approved, but some part of me expected to be rejected, and have to keep working on the app.

I was excited, but also anxious, because I had prepared for a sudden launch in the middle of a random night. So I panicked.

At the time I didn't have a website. No Facebook page. And no one knew about my new app.

I knew that I needed to use AppStore-launch-momentum and get at least some downloads within the first couple of days.

I jumped right into building a website and setting up a Facebook page. Worked the whole night until 8 AM.

In the morning I was still high on adrenaline. So I slept for 4 hours.

Then I shared my app with my friends on Facebook. I was convinced that the downloads would explode.

It didn't. Nothing. Absolutely nothing happened.

A few of my close friends liked and shared it which I deeply appreciated. Some of them even bought the app to support me.

But the explosive launch that I had built up in my mind, it didn't happen.

All the hours I had spent played back in my mind. I had dreamed of seeing people using my app.

It felt like all that time was gone, wasted, all for nothing.

This taught me a valuable lesson about myself: "I didn't know enough about marketing."

And another important lesson: "Find customers before creating a product."

This experience was sort of a turning moment for me.

I still kept on building funny products, just for fun. But I learned to put much more effort and focus on the marketing and selling part of building a business.

Funny thing is that today I help startups avoid this pain: "The awkward silence of launching into nothingness."

I help startups market their products.

And hack their growth.


Kim Døfler

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About Kim Døfler

Kim helps companies get more leads using growth hacks and optimise their websites to get more conversions.

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