How Much Does it Really Cost to Launch a Profitable Digital Product?

Nicole Gallardo
4 min readOct 14, 2022
Illustration of hand holding grid filled with dollar signs.
Illustration by Pixelbuddha Blog

I have spent 15+ years helping founders and leaders in tech convert their ideas into digital products.

I’ve watched many companies succeed and others fail. I have taken note of what winning companies did and how much they invested in their products at launch. I also learned from those that failed and saw how much money they lost.

There are many paths you can take as a founder, but if your goal is to make a profitable, scalable company from your app idea, then you have a high chance of receiving a return on your investment by following these 8 steps to launch.

8 steps with prices to help new founders know what to expect

1. Write a detailed business plan: $0

There are tons of resources online to assist you with this. Don’t skimp on your thoroughness and make sure your theories, assumptions, and projections are backed by trusted data and trend sources.

2. (Optional) Raise money from angel & pre-seed investors: $0

If you won’t be self-funding your startup and are new to raising funds, check out the Angels 101 class by Class Rebel. They will teach you how to build your pitch deck, find the right investors, and negotiate deal terms with confidence. Once you’ve raised between $250K-$500K in pre-seed funding, you are ready to start converting your idea into a tangible product.

💡 If you go this route and are successful in your fundraising, after this step you are no longer investing your own money.

3. Prove product-market fit: $50k-$150k+

After assembling a small founding team, it’s time to validate your idea. Do this first thing after pre-seed fundraising by hiring a UX advisor to take you and your team through the UX process. You should do research, rapid prototypes, and validate your app with real target users.

4. (Optional) Raise more money from venture capitalists: $5K-$10K

Once you’ve proved product market fit, you can either self-fund the rest and try to start…

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Nicole Gallardo

Founder & Chief Design Officer at Founders Who UX | CEO at Gallardo Labs | Published in Entrepreneurship Handbook, UX of EdTech, & UX Collective