October 22, 2013


baby conquers bear
The desire for perfection and the fear of making mistakes both get in the way of launching a brand. They need not.

As a case study, you can watch me launch Money 50/50. It’s for a series of live TED-like talks with audience Q&A. The speakers are credible bloggers, journalists and authors known for objective advice. The intent is to make learning about money engaging. How’s that for a challenge?

I could have waited to make sure everything was ready before telling the world but thought the incremental approach would be more educational for you and more practical for me.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

If you're worried about theft of your intellectual property, the incremental approach may be ideal. The format for Money 50/50 isn’t the work of genius but seems unique:
  • 50% talking / 50% audience participation: that’s the key reason to attend in person. If there were no interaction, why attend? The audience could simply watch the talks on YouTube from home (which means they probably wouldn’t)
  • the speakers are writers: that means they have the courage to put their thoughts on display for public scrutiny. Because they’re local, they’re approachable.
As I started looking for venues, I became concerned that my format might be “stolen”. While anyone can use a similar format for their cause (please do!), I didn't want to look like the copycat. That's why the first public announcement described the idea and format: the perfect live event to master your money.

Step Zero

The very first step is finding a short name for the brand that’s available as a website and Twitter handle. That meant brainstorming and checking for availability with NameChk. This took days of elapsed time. You might want to get help from creative people you trust. You might need to fabricate a name (e.g., as I did with Riscario and Taxevity).

Eventually, I registered money5050.com even though a squatter has the Twitter handle @money5050. There are ways to reclaim a Twitter account from a squatter or impersonator. Showing you have a real brand helps.

Other Steps

imageEventually you will see these things in order:
  1. Website: money5050.com launched (using the same Google Blogger platform as this blog)
  2. Twitter handle: @50u50 (for now)
  3. Newsletter: powered by Mad Mimi (done)
  4. Branding: using a simple placeholder for now
  5. Ticket ordering: powered by Eventbrite
  6. Community: on Ning or Google+
Clearly, all these elements are not needed at the same time, especially when you’re doing the work in your spare time.

If you're afraid that the world will see work in progress, are you over thinking? The world is busy. You can relaunch when you’re ready. In the meantime, you’re taking steps that will help you get noticed. 


PS You learn more while doing than while planning.

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