silence

Silent Launch

Posted on March 15, 2013

Cold wind. Unusually cold for mid-March. I’m walking in the city traffic, reading news from sports on my mobile phone. A car almost hit me on the zebra crossing while reading a news in TheGuardian: “Rafael Nadal crushes Roger Federer in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells…“. The match began on March 15, around 4:00 am, local time. At that hour, I was working at a personal project. I felt asleep, with product specifications in my hands, before the match ended.

Although I haven’t slept too much and I have forgotten to set the alarm clock, I was up and ready to work at 8:00. All the night I dreamed Products. Even I got up early in the morning, it took me an hour to wash, to look into the mirror, to repeat the presentation in mind, to think about the immortality of the soul and, finally, I realized I was late at the presentation meeting.

-Why are you late? What happened? ask me The CEO worried.

-My apologies, I had a terrible night! You know… I talked with my wife… recently we hadn’t too much time to talk… I lie shameless. (What I was supposed to tell him? I delayed because I worked all the night at a personal project and I forgot about the meeting?)

-Okay, take it easy! Solve your problems, there is no rush with the launch!

What?! There is no rush? Today is the Big Day of our company: we are launching our great product on the market… we will hear the trumpets, the newspapers!

We have waited breathless the official release for two weeks. For months we’ve been chased like rabbits to finish the product faster and now suddenly there’s no rush? All this chase for nothing?

To be honest, nothing surprise me. During last year of work, no marketing plan hasn’t been hit a deadline. Always the launch was delayed from various “tactical reasons” which CEO has mentioned: initially we didn’t launch public relation campaign because the product was not “finished” (although we launch it silent, four months ago), when the product was considered “finished“, the reason was “we still need to polish it up, because otherwise we could embarrass ourselves in front of partners” (at that time we didn’t have any official partnership), when the application was polished up, the motivation was “we are too small to attract partners“. Today I found myself for the fifth time in the situation of delaying our Product Release.

Here how it looks the big launch day, maybe the most expected day in our start-up: half of the offices are empty and all around is in a perfect quietness, except the sound of few mouse clicks. I go in the Experts office, slowly and shy, as if I might be afraid to break the Silence.

I enter the Sales and Marketing office. I don’t receive any “Hello”. Everyone ignores me, as if I do not exist. The Marketing Analyst is stunned by watching some crows circling in the air. Online Marketing Expert is hypnotized in front of a picture on Facebook without moving his eyes, hands or say a word. Sales Manager is sleeping with the head on his desk as after a long night of drunkenness. PR Expert, as usual, is out-of-office.

Seeing I cannot talk with the Experts, I went in R&D department. Here, the atmosphere seems a vacation, rather than a working day: imagine one of those hot days in summer, when the sun’s heat melts not only the asphalt, but also the people soul; it seems enthusiasm for work and living has been lost.

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