Manifesto: Product Launch Marketing

The Ugly Truth about Product Launches

Image source: photo of DotCom Secrets (page 222-223)

WARNING: This manifesto is on the “edgy” side. On purpose. I’m making no friends saying what I say below. But right, wrong, or indifferent, it’s stuff that I feel needs to be said.

The Ugly Truth about Product Launches (Part 1)

“It’s like crack cocaine,” he said.

Not my words.

I was chatting to a friend who runs a traffic agency. He’s probably one of the top three in the world at what he does. A category beyond World Class.

Names of the guilty were never discussed. We both respect and value client privacy.

He had been referred a cohort of clients who had all been relying on the PLF (Product Launch Formula) launch model.

For years they had been members of the The Launch Club (a group of Product Launch Tactical-Marketers who had all been frantically milking the launch cow).

The very first thing every single one told my friend was that they wanted off that hamster wheel and free from the reliance on JV affiliate traffic to keep their businesses afloat.

However, the moment anything got difficult, every single one of them defaulted back to that model. “It’s like crack cocaine,” he told me.

That’s kinda sad.

But such is the pull of our natural bias towards the easy and quick and shortcuts and “fill in the blank” solutions.

I’m no one special. But I’ve been smart enough to earn a full-time independent living online since 2003.

I’ve done a few things right (and a lot wrong), so I’ve seen a whole lot of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The evolution of nearly a decade and a half online.

And what I’ve learned is that as humans we’re hard-wired with traits and behaviors baked-in by a million years of primal human nature.

Live or die.

Eat or be eaten.

But many of these survival mechanisms don’t serve us anymore. Not one bit. Relics from a bygone era.

Yet they still RULE many (most) of us.

We gravitate towards the in-vogue, the secrets, the loopholes, and the sexy tactics over fundamental strategies.

The pull towards the promise of easy and fast over the hard and slow.

It’s our primal survival “safety switch” kicking in to save our ass. Our lower lizard brain playing the playground bully over our newer Neocortex.

Yet the paradox is that our asses don’t need saving.

Savvy gurus who understand these universal laws, leverage these flaws and biases to their advantage.

Nothing wrong with this, per se. Nothing at all.

But the thing with these tactics is that eventually, the persuasion stops working.

Blunt force persuasion has a very short “half-life.”

The workaround is to adapt, to change (or die out). CHANGE being the constant; the inevitable law of life:

Change is the law of life (JFK)

(Trump and Brexit being two f#cked up use cases, but this isn’t the time or place to get into polarizing politics. I work hard to avoid politics.)

And this same change is playing out in our “little” internet marketing subculture.

For the past decade “product launches” have become the staple (faux) “business model” for launch gurus. The status quo behavior of those seeking a 7 figure business at rocket ship speed.

It’s really been the ONLY way to quickly scale from zero to hero. From no business at all, to 7 figures within one successful product launch.

And every guru worth their salt in our little world has a 7-figure launch notch on their bedpost (or trying to engineer one, so they can be invited in from the cold, to come play with the cool-launch-cats).

It has become a badge of honor.

A rite of passage.

A requirement to get into the hallowed “Launch Club.”

But I can proudly say I’m not a member of The Launch Club. Early on I chose to stay out.

Not to drink the Kool-Aid.

To forgo the path to the Launch Club Promised Land with streets paved in gold (and tricked-out Tesla Model S’s).

Instead we went the other (longer harder) way. We zagged when the Product Launch Tactical-Marketers zigged.

I’m not saying this because we’re better than anyone else. Hell, no. Not at all. If anything, we’re the dummies who turned our noses up at easy millions.

(I didn’t know it then, but we would avoid the “iceberg” that is now sinking so many businesses.)

For me it was just a decision (albeit a simple one), just like others who choose to worship at the altar of The Launch Club.

Neither being right or wrong.

Just a binary decision.

This or that.

Albeit a decision with consequences.

And now, the inevitable is happening. Much like the dark story arc in Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming.”

Winter is Coming

Same now.

Just like the bursting of the dot com bubble back in 2000-2002. And then the financial meltdown in 2008.

The PLF bubble has a puncture, and it’s hemorrhaging air. Change is afoot. And it’s coming whether you agree with me or not.



  1. Many hate launches, but can’t stop. It’s like crack cocaine.
  2. We are hardwired to want speed and efficiency, and launches give us that. Yet speed and efficiency are rarely in the best interest for the people we serve.
  3. I’m not passing moral judgment on your business model, but you can’t escape the long-term consequences of a launch-based business. Decisions have consequences.
  4. Things are changing. The market dynamics are shifting and evolving. Change is the law of life.