Guest Column | March 21, 2011

The 3 Secrets Of A Successful Product Launch

Mike Myatt headshot

By Mike Myatt, N2Growth

The laundry list of items that can be discussed (branding, financing, competition, pricing, etc.) when determining how to bring a product to market are almost endless. That said, there are three things that really drive a successful product launch: opportunity, timing, and execution. The simple truth is that opportunity, timing, and execution are inexorably linked. Nowhere is this truer than in the life sciences industry.

Opportunity
There are a few times in the life of every professional when staggering opportunities will present themselves. The question is not whether these opportunities exist, but rather what you do with them when they cross your path. I believe one of the key differences between success and mediocrity is the ability to not only recognize opportunities, but also have an understanding and willingness to exploit said opportunities. Exploiting opportunities requires that you possess not only vision, but also a corresponding bias to action and a bit of courage as well.

Timing
Rarely will you come across a static opportunity in the sense that it will stand idle and wait for you to act. Significant opportunities are not only scarce, but they typically operate on the principle of diminishing returns. The longer you wait to seize the opportunity, the smaller the return typically is. In fact, more likely is the case that the opportunity will completely evaporate if you wait too long to seize it. Keep this thought in mind; when opportunity knocks, answer the door.

I can’t even begin to count the number of times I watched people miss great opportunities due to a poor sense of timing. Not too surprisingly, people who possess a poor sense of timing usually don’t even understand timing is an issue. How many times have you witnessed someone holding out for some type of event or circumstance that either never transpires, or by the time it does, the opportunistic advantage has disappeared? I’ve observed the risk adverse take due diligence one step too far, the greedy negotiate too long, the impulsive jump the gun, and the plodders move too slowly. As the saying goes, “Timing is everything.”

Execution
Let’s say you find yourself in the admirable position of having opportunity and timing sync up — as good as that is, it’s not good enough. It’s the ability to execute at every level that converts opportunity and timing into profit. Execution is the difference between potential and reality. Drop the ball on execution, and you’ll watch the potential afforded to you by opportunistic timing evaporate right before your eyes. There is truth in the old axiom which says, “The devil is in the details.”

The proverbial window closes on every opportunity at some point in time. More specifically, your timing and ability to execute will keep the window open longer, while your inability to do so will cause it to slam shut very quickly. As you approach each day, I would challenge you to consistently evaluate the landscape and seize the opportunities that come your way. Better to be the one who catches the fish than the one who tells the story of the big one that got away.

About The Author
Mike Myatt is a noted leadership expert, author of Leadership Matters — The CEO Survival Manual, and widely regarded as America’s top CEO coach. As a thought leader and columnist on topics of leadership and innovation, his theories and practices have been taught at many of the nation’s top business schools. He also authors the N2growth Blog, which has been consistently recognized as one of the top leadership blogs on the Internet. For more info go to www.n2growth.com.

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