NBS #8: Why Most Digital Product Ideas Never Launch (And How To Beat The Odds)

The reality is most digital product ideas never launch regardless of the expert's skill and expertise. After helping several experts launch theirs (and talking to hundreds more who didn't) here's why – and how to make sure yours does.

May 11, 2024

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    Every expert I’ve spoken to has had at least a handful of ideas for digital products in their career.

    Yet after more than a decade in this field, I’ve learned most digital product ideas never launch…

    Why is it most digital product ideas never launch you ask?


    You get overwhelmed when you know the outcome you want but can’t envision your current self achieving it. So instead of taking action, you go back to what feels safe: learning. Suddenly you find yourself reading blogs, joining Facebook groups, downloading podcasts, and maybe even enrolling in an online course (or several).

    Paradoxically, instead of all this learning helping you take action, it reveals how much you didn’t know about creating and launching a digital product!

    So now you’re even more overwhelmed and your idea for a digital product is hopelessly solidifying itself as just that, an idea.

    If this sounds at all like your experience as an expert with an idea for a digital product, this post is for you.

    In it I’m sharing my 4 simple rules to help you beat the odds and make sure your digital product idea becomes a reality.

    NBS #8: Why Most Digital Product Ideas Never Launch (And How To Beat The Odds)
    It’s Not Brain Surgery #8

    By now you likely agree with me about why most digital product ideas never launch… (If you don’t, please get in touch. I’d love to chat with an expert who does not fit this description).

    But the question remains: How can you beat the odds and ensure YOUR idea does become a reality?

    After talking to hundreds of different experts across all kinds of industries, I finally figured out the key characteristics that separate those who do seem to launch a digital product and the rest of us mere mortals.

    Armed with that knowledge I created 4 simple rules for myself that not only have allowed me to launch my digital products, but have helped dozens of my clients make their product ideas a reality.

    Here they are:

    1. Lower your expectations
    2. Detach from the outcome
    3. Ship early, improve often
    4. Show your work

    Let’s explore each one.

    Rule 1: Lower Your Expectations

    One of the most common reasons why experts get overwhelmed and never actually start building out their idea for a digital product is because their expectations are too high.

    Sure, it’s cool to log into the member’s area for one of James Wedmore’s or Justin Welsh’s products and seeing everything they have in place for their students. But pretending to have all from day 1 on your own product is a sure way to get overwhelmed and not start.

    Instead, recognize this is the first time you’re creating something and while you’ll give it your best, it won’t be perfect.

    Don’t worry, buyers won’t judge you. And no, it won’t tarnish your reputation (as long as you’re honest about it).

    It will however give you tons of experience and confidence. It will also get you some buyers who can provide feedback and help you build a better V2, V3 and so on.

    Rule 2: Detach From The Outcome

    Especially at first, it’s important to detach from the outcome of building your first digital product.

    Here’s the truth: your first digital product will likely suck. Just like any other thing you do for the first time. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll put it out there and get it over with.

    The mistake most experts make though, is attach their happiness –and by extension, their self-worth– to the success of their digital product.

    No wonder you’re scared to build and publish it. No wonder you don’t want to tell anyone about it. No wonder you feel like you need to take another course before moving forward.

    The solution is to simply think of it as a learning experience where the goal is not to “succeed” but to get that first rep in.

    Remember, either you win or you learn. And since learning is winning, you always win.

    Rule 3: Ship Early, Improve Often

    “It’s almost ready”… “I just need to do X and that’s it”…

    If you’ve been telling yourself any of these things, let me go ahead and say: I get it. I’m as guilty of it as the next guy. Which is how I know you’re more likely to regret not launching it sooner, than to “keep perfecting” it. (ps. you call it perfectionism but it’s really fear…)

    One of the best things about digital products is you can improve them after they’ve been released, unlike physical products like a book that’s been printed and someone has already taken home.

    With digital products you can add or remove content as it becomes more or less relevant. You can expand further if you see your clients are getting stuck or not understanding something. Heck, you could change the entire thing down the road if you build a better version.

    So instead of trying to get everything perfect the first time around, focus on getting a good enough version out, get feedback from clients, and improve it often.

    It’s not only ok to do so, it’s one of the best features of digital products!

    Rule 4: Show Your Work

    Nicolas Cole often tells the story of old-school writers who would lock themselves up in a cabin in the woods to write their novel vs digital writers who tweet their ideas daily and get immediate feedback from their readers.

    Who do you think is going to serve their audience at a higher lever, faster?

    The expert who locks herself up to create a digital product without any feedback until she deems it “ready”, or the one who’s been openly talking about it to potential clients, opening the doors for beta testers, and gathering feedback?

    Obviously the second one.

    And I know it feels scary to put something out there before it’s ready but, talking from experience, it’s way scarier to put in hundreds -perhaps even thousands- of hours into a product nobody wants.

    Here’s the thing, following these 4 rules won’t turn your idea into a million-dollar product overnight. Maybe not ever. But it will help you get your ideas out into the world so you can make other people’s lives better.

    Remember: keeping your ideas, knowledge, and expertise for yourself won’t benefit anyone. Not even you. So try these out for 30 days and show the world what you bring to the table!

    And if you’d like some extra help getting some of these ideas out the door, I’m here for you. Book a call today and we’ll put together your unique roadmap.

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