Product launches are complex. That was the main takeaway of the PDMA 2010 Lab E – Launch for Commercial Success which I had the privilege of attending today. The session kicked off with an apt and literal example: a NASA shuttle launch. When NASA launched the Saturn V rocket, its engineers were depending on the successful integration of 2 million distinct systems. 2 million! And, as Richard Koppel pointed out, NASA operates in a space (get it?) where getting it right the first time is “mission critical” – if something goes wrong, not only are millions of dollars wasted, but people die. Fortunately, product launches are not as high stakes as shuttle launches, but you still want to ensure your innovation is brought to market as seamlessly as possible. So how do you launch successfully given all of the variables, risks and uncertainties inherent in the process? Here are the top 7 themes of the day which will help you make sure all systems are go when you blastoff.