Decoding the ‘three week’ concept

Decoding the 'three week' concept!

In 2017, I received a call from a gentleman who was building a technology platform for electric utilities. The product was simple to brief, simpler to understand, but uphill to get to the market. It is for energy efficiency program managers to calculate energy savings based on the devices & appliances their consumers use. They call it a ‘measure’, and it could be a small table lamp to a huge compressor unit for central air conditioning. The factors include the time elapsed since installation, periodic maintenance checks, and climatic conditions as well. Exhausting to comprehend? Well. It does! Most marketing strategists fail to put that little extra effort into understanding the intricacies of a certain business that they commit to working on.

The problem is with the mindset. I have seen some CEOs giving direct ‘do as I say’ instructions to their team members to execute things that they just would want to get done. While that may yield some good outcomes, it may stretch their time atrociously, over some time. This results in a debate about the chief’s role in the organization – if he is a manager or a leader. Well, that is all irrelevant to us!

Our focus shall be on making our constituents understand the broader picture of the business value proposition that the organization offers to its customers. Imbibing that attribute enables every stakeholder to help them deliver more meaningful solutions. Most chiefs assume the exercise would be time-consuming and may affect the business. On the contrary, Three Week Theory breaks this myth!

What is all about 'going to market'?

Every time you prepare a messaging to reach out to your audience, or to a segment of your audience, you are ‘going to market’. And it is not just a matter of a landing page or content to be shipped via digital platforms. One of the biggest challenges I had in 2017 was that I was new to the energy & power industry, obscure to the marketing culture in the United States, and to make things worse, I thought knowing about the industry is irrelevant to my scope of work.

No prize for guesses! I was screwed. Weeks after weeks, all my efforts went to the drain. I had written three blog posts, five email campaigns, four social media content copies, and some serious off-page activities. The outcome? My client’s domain was classified as a ‘potential spam’ by many!


However, my position was guarded! I just did what the chief wanted to do. I happened to meet one of his mentors towards the end of that year, and he gave me some great knowledge.

The product was set to be launched in the month of February 2018, and we did nothing until the third week of January. I even went on to assume that the launch would be delayed! I was invited over to his office on the 22nd of January, and he instructed me to prepare for the product launch he had no idea how to do it. That was when I realized the act of ‘going to market’ is no child’s play!

Having got blacklisted by a few prospects, having no clue how to develop a Go To Market strategy, and with one goal of ‘sending a message out’ to the potential users of the product, I had less than four weeks’ time to pull it off.

The respite and the challenge

I had visualized how a launch would be, just as a typical youngster from the 90s. All that came to my mind was a ballroom with a packed audience and the product manager walking them through with a PowerPoint presentation and a product demo. The mass has to be the product’s prospective customers! My mind became inquisitive as a kindergarten. But, I live in Chennai and the product’s target customers are in the US and only in the US. Would I be flown to the US? Hell. No. I had my visa application rejected a year ago.

I further tried to find alternative ways to prepare for the launch, and the eureka moment came. I went back to his office and suggested, ‘sir, let’s do a webinar to announce our launch’. Today, after the pandemic, virtual summits became a way of life. Back then, though not very long ago, purely digital efforts were still a gamble. We proceeded with the idea!


I walked out proud to have given a ‘great’ idea. But, the joy did not last for long! I had no clue about the product, its competitors, its target consumers, and even the necessity of the product. I only had about three weeks’ time, and the clock started ticking.

The Redemption

Around that time, I was dating a market researcher (she then became my wife), and I started talking about the product, the industry, and the profile of its users. A quick walkthrough of the demographics, the market data, and some interesting statistics not only helped me understand the industry, but also the impact the product would make. I realized that the product has no competitors – further, she did introduce me to a concept called the ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’.


In the subsequent week, I went on to identify the pain points of the target audience and started drafting the marketing collaterals that would strike great relatability to their operational challenges. In all those materials, I had one call-to-action – Register to Attend the launch webinar.


In the last week, the teams battled till the last minute to get the presentations prepared, demo instances set up, and rigorously practiced on a webinar service platform to get familiarized! As much as we were excited, we got extremely nervous too. We had a good number of registrations, and the webinar went off well. In fact, we even had a number of sign-ups!

The Realization

While everyone in my office & the client’s were throwing a party, I was the only guy who felt a sigh of relief (of course with ecstasy). Had there been one hiccup, I would have had it. That was when I got reminded of a quote by a legend I look up to:

"No country in the world works as slow as we do till the last three weeks before an event, and no country in the world works as fast as we do in the last three weeks before an event"
Harsha Bhogle
Cricket Commentator & Management Guru
(Excerpt from his TED Talk in 2009)

I laughed to myself saying, ‘so everything happens only in the last three weeks’. Therefore, I made my mind to not break my head over a timeline if we have time up to three weeks or more! This incident triggered a set of thought processes that led to the formation of the concept, ‘Three Week Theory’. Over the next three years, I went on to launch over 27 products for various clients of mine. I never told this to anyone – I did it all with just three weeks of time from D-Day.

The Conception

After a few years, I found that the launches are a regular affair in tech/product firms. You either see them launch a new feature or a new product altogether, at least one every year! I was able to crack a pattern that would help product managers follow a checklist of daily tasks for 21-days or three weeks (screw weekends prior to the launch of ‘the next big thing’ in the market. haha). I went on to develop a set of comprehensive worksheets & modules for 21 days, as you can see on this page below ‘Our Approach’ section. If you are preparing to launch your product, feel free to book a session with me. Upon booking, you would be receiving access to all documents, SOPs, checklists, templates, and some strategies as well. We would also request you to fill up a questionnaire for us to prepare for the call.

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