Just F***ng Launch.

A friend of mine told me about a drill sergeant who in a thick Scottish accent told him to "always opt for the 80% solution". To explain a bit further, he wasn't suggesting that you settle for 80%, and never try improve that, but rather that you should get to 80% as fast as possible and improve on that later.

Our experience with the businesses that sign up for The Hoods is there are many businesses that struggle to get going because they are trying to insure that everything is "perfect" for their launch. In order to give our vendor the best shot at getting going, we would offer the following tips:

1.) Don't launch
Or rather launch many many times, there is an excellent video on this subject here: https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6i-how-to-launch-again-and-again, but essentially we all like to imagine a big launch party with streamers and balloons, but the reality is that an online launch is most often very underwhelming.
Does anyone here remember the launch of Facebook? Or the launch of Google?

2.) Don't wait for the perfect conditions
"Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect." – Alan Cohen as mentioned before, perfect can be the enemy of getting things finish, and rather than be concerned about whether or not your product images are 100% perfect or if your operations are ready to deal with enormous scale - you can and will improve things are you go along, but experience is by far the best teach.

3.) Don't be disappointed
Everyone is hopeful that millions of shoppers will arrive on and shop on their online stores (which would be wonderful), but in the vast majority of cases traffic buildup is slow. Unlike physical stores where people see something new by walking past, online stores can be a lot harder to find initially. Unless you have engaged on an extensive marketing campaign beforehand, most people will only know about your store if you tell them, and most people will need to be told multiple times before they actually visit the store.

Some more advice is that when you do decide to open the doors, you would do well not to do it on a Friday afternoon - firstly because most people are trying their best to get away from their work or office and email campaigns are largely ignored - but more importantly support from the banks for payments and support from internet service providers is much slower on the weekend, so if anything goes wrong, it will be that much harder to resolve.

Finally, we applied the principles discussed above to this blog post, so please don't expect it to be perfect, it's probably around 80% as good as we will make it, but at least you are reading it.