I had lunch with a successful Atlanta tech entrepreneur today and he filled me in his current startup. After drilling into the business for 30 minutes he made a comment I didn’t expect: he’s only going to launch if he has seven key partners on board with signed contracts. He has a critical launch trigger where he’s requiring key distribution partners be in place before completing the product.
This is a variation on lean startups and customer driven development whereby customers are incorporated into the development process — not after the product has already been built.
My advice: consider critical launch triggers when starting a new company.