I helped launch a product today.

My company BitPay released our Visa prepaid debit card for bitcoin users in 131 countries around the world, including bitcoin hotspots We’ve had solid reception for the card in the US, where bitcoin users have been able to use it to move easily from bitcoin to a Visa-spendable balance on the card.

You can learn more about what that was all about by clicking the image below.

I wanted to say something about product launches.

In my time at BitPay, I’ve been able to help plan, execute, and/or promote several major product launches, from the BitPay Card to to the BitPay wallet app and Bitcore version 1.0.

If you’ve never done it – introducing something new to the world and waiting to see how they take it – I recommend you give it a try.

There’s always something special about the day and the week of a product launch. I tell people it’s my favorite day of the year. It may not be a regular calendar event, but it has a special place in the lifecycle of an early-stage company or creative project.

There’s a thrill in the air the day and week of a product launch. For all intents and purposes, you are in a fight – against time, against your own inertia, against all of the chaos and resistance that gets in your way. You’ve been working around the clock, and you have a million chess pieces moving. None of them can fail. If you fail, you fail very publicly and lose your one chance to make a good first impression. If you succeed, you lay the groundwork for the success of the product and the success of your team.

Sound stressful? That’s precisely what’s great about product launch day.

You have every reason to feel tired, but you feel like you could go on for days. You and your coworkers are under pressure, but you’re more likely than ever to crack hilarious jokes or do helpful things for each other. Your time and resources are stretched to their capacity, but you don’t stop coming up with great ideas for how you can market or improve the product. You might find last-minute bugs or issues, but they don’t faze you – you know you have the determination and knowledge to fix them and deliver a great experience.

All of the stress and pressure of a product launch forms this kind of experience where the normal rules of company life cease to apply. Things become deadly serious and playful at the same time. There’s no-nonsense execution going on, which is driving big-picture thinking. Your known limitations  – sleep, time, resources, team members – become sources of creativity and strength.

I thrive in this environment. If it’s the case that every human needs a big bad opponent to slay at some point in their life (you know me and my love of comparative mythology/hero’s journey stuff), then a product launch is my chance to come face to face with the big boss of chaos – and defeat it.

Wish me luck. Week one of this product launch still lies before me.

Day one, however, is in the books. And with any skill, I’m going to get to do this again. And again. And again.

 

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