Stop Obsessing. Launch Your Product
No one’s buying what doesn’t exist. Don’t let perfection delay your ideas.
If there’s one thing I’ve been able to take away from my past experience, it’s that waiting gets you nowhere and refinement can come later.
I used to be like you. I’d start working on a project and meticulously refine every piece. I’d obsess over the grammatical flow of sentences selling my new idea (that wasn’t actually selling because I hadn’t launched it).
I’d spend hours editing copy, tweaking design elements, modifying small bits and end up no where closer to completion than when I started. In my delusional search for perfection, I was losing sight of the project I was creating.
Don’t be like I was. Stop yourself from entering the vicious cycle of endless refinement and launch your product.
You Don’t Know Perfection And Will Never Achieve It
Don’t fool yourself into thinking the hours spent tweaking will produce a better product that’s going to sell faster or earn your business more money. It’s not. The only thing it’s doing is stealing your time from selling.
Your customers will love your product for its value and the problems it solves. They don’t care that the 3rd paragraph, describing your 5th feature isn’t a literary work of art or your product buttons have square corners instead of slightly rounded ones. They definitely don’t care what shade of blue you decided you use either.
Start selling your product. Let your customers find the flaws, suggest improvements and shape the direction of your product. Without real feedback, you’ll never know where to devote your perfection-obsessing energy.
Product, Service, Website–It’s All the Same
It doesn’t matter if you’re creating a new coffee maker, building a massage practice, or launching a new website. Create something that functions and solves your customer's problems then sell it.
You’ll make Coffee Machine 2.0, modify your massage techniques and have plenty of time to obsess over your website later. No one’s buying what’s not for sale in the meantime.
The Only Semi-Exception to the Rule
I know for someone out there, “But, xyz…” is playing on repeat. The only semi-exception that warrants delaying a public launch is when 100% accuracy matters (I doubt you’re building a plane or creating a surgery robot though).
If you’re creating something entirely new and you don’t have existing customers, this doesn’t apply to you. This semi-exception is just a means to fine-tuning the function of your product. Don’t make this an excuse to perfect design aesthetic and non-functional elements.
Let’s say you’ve got thousands of customers using your service and you’re redesigning their online dashboard. You wouldn’t want to release new features that haven’t been tested. So, start beta testing. Invite a handful of users to test out the new dashboard. Get their feedback, find the errors you didn’t account for then flip the switch that brings all of your users onboard.
Starting a beta round or product testing shouldn’t take you long and you should begin early in development. This is not meant to be an extension of obsessive perfection that delays your launch. Use product testing to find functional problems, fix them and launch.
Make it Function & Ship it Out
Pull your attention away from design element #76 of your unlaunched product and take a look at everything as a whole.
- How close am I to a finished, functioning (not beautiful) product?
- What needs to be completed before my product is capable of solving the problems I designed it to solve?
- Why am I still reading this post and not launching my product?
Stop obsessing, launch your product, and start selling. Worry about the tiny details later.
Know Someone Who Should Read This Entry?