Overcoming the Misconception that “It has to be perfect before I launch”
Much like our conversation with Peter, the idea that ‘it has to be perfect before it launches’ is common for both entreprenuers and seasoned professionals.
Ultimately, it’s a tension between excellence and perfect. Creating something of quality vs something without defect.
It’s a hard line to draw at time, but a good plan executed now beats a great plan executed later. Business and technology are evolving fast and the costs of inactivity or delay can cost time, money, and customer adoption.
In 2014, we piloted a product subscription tool which allowed merchants to sell their products on subscription. Currently, that notion is nothing new but that the time the options in the market where very limited. As we were building the tools for a few initial customers, testing took longer than expected, we got busy with our core business, and we got caught up adding a suite of ‘nice to have’ features. Ultimately, we were left with something that was costly to support or maintain and without the funds needed to keep up as new competitors joined the market.
A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.
The large feature set and added complexity was also more difficult to explain and onboard prospective customers.
Launching sooner with fewer features and less polish, would have allowed more time to improve, reduced product confusion, and provided more of a budget to circle back once we received user feedback.
As lead on the project, the greatest learnings include the need to build smaller, iterate faster, and launch sooner. These are now imperatives that we share with all of our clients, whether it’s their first or 50th project with us.
The goal is excellence, not perfect.