Product Launches are Hard

On today’s episode I want to talk about making and shipping stuff. There are four dynamics to a product launch: (1) the original product idea and vision; (2) all the work that goes in to making it; (3) marketing and spreading the word; (4) the positive and negative emotions that surround the work and the launch itself.

I want to focus mostly on the latter two dynamics: marketing and emotions.

Many people shy away from marketing, or market their stuff poorly, because they are either embarrassed or they don’t know how to market. Or both. However, good marketing is vital to the success of our products. We want them to do well so we can sustain the work we’ve done and continue to do great work.

Additionally, putting our work out there for the world to see is intimidating and frightening. It’s also exciting. I know many people, myself included, who will feel depressed on a product launch day. And so how do we find emotional health in the midst of shipping our work? How can we be emotionally strong in order to stay on track and develop a life-long history of making and shipping our best work year after year?


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The Courage and Focus to Say No

This week, we are back on track with the series on “the power of a focused life”.

To ever so slightly paraphrase Robert Louis Stevenson, perpetual devotion is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things.

When we say no to something, it doesn’t have to be because we are too busy. It can be because we are intentional and purposeful about what we do with our time and energy. In fact, saying “no” is a healthy byproduct of being intentional and purposeful — we say “no” to one thing so we can say “yes” to another.

This episode is proudly sponsored by

iPhone 6, Day One

It’s iPhone 6 day. I pre-ordered a regular-sized 6, 64GB, Space Grey. After a day with it, here are my initial thoughts on the new hardware, the bigger screen, and iOS 8. In short, this is awesome.


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Tim’s Watch

On this week’s show I talk about (what else!?) the hot new gadgets announced yesterday by Apple. Topics include how big the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are compared to the iPhone 5; questions about how helpful Apple Pay will actually be; and considerations on how compelling the new Apple Watch is and what role Tim Cook had in its development.

Programming note: this week’s episode is being published early because I’ll be out of town for XOXO festival in Portland.

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  • Uuni 2: wood-fired perfection to your kitchen or garden. Use the discount code ‘thesweetsetup’ to get $20 off your Uuni 2.
  • The awesome members of Their support makes the work I do a sustainable possibility.

Resting, Working, and Detoxing

In our always-connected world, I think it’s getting more and more difficult to manage our work/life/digital boundaries.

I think the answer is two-fold: (a) having a hobby or project or workflow that is non-digital; and (b) setting up boundaries for when we do and don’t stare at the screen.

Resting and working with boundaries is, I think, a key component to living in the digital age. And I think this is so important because it’s a never-ending battle: The internet is never going to become less addicting; social networks are never going to be come less active; news and entertainment channels are never going to dial it down; and amazing and interesting things are going to continue to be created.


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The Hit List

For this week’s episode I’m just coming back from 2 weeks away in Colorado and Louisiana. And so, before getting back into the daily swing of things I wanted to have a more fun, geeky episode talking about a few things that are awesome and are related to what I’m working on now.

These things include:

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The Just Checks

On today’s show — recorded while on vacation in Colorado — I want to talk about “the just checks”.

We know constantly unlocking our phones throughout the day, every day, hinders our ability to focus. But I think it also hinders our ability to rest and unwind.

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PDFpen for iPad: Powerful, Mobile PDF Editing.

Lifestyle Practices

This is Part 9 in the series on The Power of a Focused Life that I’m doing for the members of

Last Weekly Briefly we talked about defining the vision for our life. And since then, on Shawn Today, I’ve talked about Life goals and Action Plans. If you want to follow along with each daily episode, you can sign up for a membership which is $4/month.

Today, I’m talking about Lifestyle Practices. This topic is, to me, one of the most important issues of my life. I have a personal commitment to live with intentionality in as many areas of my life as I can. I want to be intentional in how I raise my boys, I want to be intentional about building meaningful relationships with my spouse and my finances, I want to be intentional about the creative work I do, about how I spend my time, how I spend my money, what my diet is, and more.

It’s just so easy to coast, you know? And I think a lot of people don’t make intentional choices because they are afraid. Afraid that they’ll be unable to make a meaningful change to their life. Afraid that they will fail at something important. Or afraid that we will lose everything.

Implement daily habits and living with intentionality sounds intense — and it is — but it’s worth it.

Defining the vision for our life

The topic of having a vision for your life sounds so intense. So old-school and grownup.

We’re the new breed. We don’t need that stuff because we walk around with the internet in our pockets and we have access to a multitude of information as fast as our wireless service can serve it up to us.

But that is exactly why there has never been a generation more in need of having vision for their lives than now.

How many times do we pull out your iPhone in a day? How many times do we casually check Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Email, only to go back and check Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and email again. And then again? All in a 90 second span while waiting in line at the grocery store.

We never ever have to be bored. And so, how critical is it to have some sort of idea for where we want to be headed with our life? The incessant tide of opinions, distractions, likes, emails, @replies, youtube videos, can and will pull us every which way. And their sway over our attention span and values doesn’t get any less strong as we get older.

Launch day Q&A

On this week’s not-so-brief episode, I answer a several reader and listener questions related to the launch of Delight is in the Details.

Some of the questions include:

  • What was the moment in which you said “this is good enough?”
  • What advice would you give for preparing for a launch of a new product or service?
  • And how did the launch compare to your goals and expectations?
  • what factors contributed to the success of the version 2 launch?
  • What was your process for making the videos?
  • And more…


Committing to sweat the details

On today’s show I share a lot about the ideas and values I’ve learned while working on the update to my book, Delight is in the Details.

Also, of course, I share about the book itself and what all is in the update that will launch this coming Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

And, boom: Here’s a teaser promo video we’ve been working on:


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Investing in Quality

On today’s show I talk about some different expressions of what investing in quality looks like. Not just from the common standpoint of what we buy, but also investing in making quality products and cultivating quality relationships.

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  • Bellroy: Slim your wallet.

  • Dropzone 3: improve drag and drop and boost productivity on your Mac. Download a free trial.

A podcast by Shawn Blanc