Lately we've been handling a lot of launches for start-ups. We enjoy this immensely--we like being able to both strategize and then execute on that strategy. Plus, we often contribute to the start-ups' web presence by writing their website copy. Occasionally we even contribute to the development process of their app (for it seems these days that most of our clients have web apps). Some clients, I think, expect to get 50,000 visitors the first week they launch. This happens on the odd occasion (bonjour, RobotReplay), but it's more the exception than the rule. So, sometimes we have to urge our clients to be patient. Seth Godin has our back on this one:
The media wants overnight successes (so they have someone to tear down). Ignore them. Ignore the early adopter critics that never have enough to play with. Ignore your investors that want proven tactics and predictable instant results. Listen instead to your real customers, to your vision and make something for the long haul. Because that's how long it's going to take, guys.
Here's one resource the start-up community could use: an anonymous database of actual visitor and user numbers for the first year of operation. That would help us set client expectations beyond the small data set to which we have access. Maybe we ought to talk to Boot Up Labs about that.