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28 Comments

A thought for everyone who doesn't want to ship their product 'till it's "perfect"

I just read another post on here from someone who has been developing his MVP for two years. TWO YEARS!!

The reason given was because he want's it to be "perfect" before launch.

Check this out:

Amazon: fixing bugs

Netflix: fixing bugs

Google: fixing bugs

Youtube: fixing bugs

The morale of the story - "Perfect" does not exist, and it never will.

If it did you can be sure that companies like those above (with billions of dollars and thousands of the best engineers in the world) wouldn't be shipping bug fixes and incremental improvements years after they launched.

Release your product. Now.

  1. 11

    It depends on the kind of product, if it's complex, it may take 2 years. remember Figma took 3 years to ship their first version in preview. I really can't understand telling about shipping in one week or one month.
    I'm not talking about a simple social media app, but a complex app that may contain hell lot of things to manage.

    1. 4

      I really can't understand telling about shipping in one week or one month.

      If you have millions of dollars to churn through, like Figma did, yeah. If you're bootstrapping, good luck waiting a year to ship...

      1. 1

        There is only so much you can create in 1 month. If you have a job and bootstrapping on the side + your product if fairly complex, 1 year could be a reality.

        Now of course if you know your MVP will take that long you should absolutely "ship" at least a landing page with subscribe form and some social media presence.

        1. 1

          My problem with 1 year is validation. Imagine investing a year into the product and nobody buys it because it's not validated?

          If your product has a market and the validation confirms demand, then 1 year to ship MVP -> 1st Version is probably all good.

      2. 1

        I totally agree with your statement about investment. We are doing this completely self funded. I have 2 other people who works along with me on equity. One for backend and one for front end. And we outsource UX design to my friend who works it on our budget.

  2. 7

    Took me 3 years of FT work to develop the first "MVP" before launching. Like @sreekanth850 said - products such as, Figma and AirTable took years to develop (with a team of engineers). Launching a buggy B2B application simply doesn't work when your risking customer data. It doesn't mean the application has to be developed in a vacuum - you can be talking to customers and making adjustments throughout a multi year development cycle. But ultimately, some things just take time!

    1. 4

      Very true, in B2B you won't even be able to get them to demo it let alone buy it if you have a classic buggy shipped fast MVP. It will be a no go the second you ask them to import some of their data, etc.

      There is a high standard for quality in some spaces, "ship it fast!" "keep it simple stupid!" just doesn't always work.

      However, like you said, you can still loop those people into product, they're just not going to be using / buying anything lol.

      1. 3

        Our B2B product has 2 years full time invested and I agree completely with what you are saying. Without a fully featured product producing the marketing material is very, very difficult - as you don't even know what the product features are and no one is going to accept a one feature MVP (unless the B2B product is so blue sky there is no competition at all).

        So only just now are we able to begin producing the sort of marketing video that a hey.com launched with - which is the minimum for anyone to even consider a demo.

        1. 2

          Another good point you reminded me of is the potential to burn your leads too. Say, you launch an MVP, email 500 people, get 50 demos, they see your product with just the core feature that only hits 1/10th of their use case, now those 50 people probably aren't going to buy from you ever. Obviously not completely true but you catch my drift around the risk you take.

          It's just the space. There's naturally a high bar when you're paying a lot more and risking a lot more as well.

          1. 2

            Plus the time you waste on marketing a product that cannot sell.

  3. 4

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately, because I'm close to finally going live with a project I started in 2018. The long time is partly because I put the project on hold for a while, and partly because it's complex in some ways. But also because I want certain things to be as close to perfect as possible.

    Agreed that perfect does not exist, but there's a difference between nit-picking minor details or over-engineering, and not wanting to put out a half baked product. Like, building a house is a project that definitely needs to be as close to finished and "perfect" as possible before it's put up for sale, nobody wants to buy a partly finished house. But even the most perfectly built house will still require maintenance and upkeep. And Google, Netflix etc. will always need to put out updates and bugfixes to keep up with evolving technology.

    In my case, the things I'm trying to get "perfect" have to do with developing the product over the longer term. Feature wise, it's still MVP. But I've put a lot of extra work into making sure that as it ramps up to thousands of users (hopefully 😰) the only thing I need to worry about is adding/improving features and keeping customers happy. Scaling shouldn't be an issue.

    I'm not saying everyone should do this! It's what makes sense for me, because I have a lot of faith in what I'm building AND I have another SaaS project in the works already. And other SaaS ideas are rolling around in the back of my head. So my calculus includes the time I'll be saving on developing future projects (and the fact that I'll be better at planning them in the first place).

    What I AM saying is that people should think carefully about what "minimum viable product" really means. You've got to balance the "minimum" with the "viable".

    1. 4

      It's a fine balance. This idea that's common in the indie community of hacking out the next Facebook in a weekend is toxic. It's the same as the 6-pack ab in 15 mins online courses. Real things take time, and for some reason nobody talks about this.

      There are some people who use "perfection" as a means to procrastinate or avoid facing public scrutiny. I think this post is aimed at those people. Your points are also valid.

      1. 1

        You nailed it, I was really shocked to see people saying ship it in a week. after putting everything we figured only to ship mvp in 5 months. That too simple application.

  4. 2

    Not wanting to launch till it's "perfect"...is usually just FEAR masked as Perfectionism. That's what happened to me with my first app ( which failed). This time round? Shipping with known bugs and a pop-up that tells users which features aren't working yet when they go down paths they shouldn't in the app :) ✌️

    1. 1

      I don't think someone will fail by shipping a good product.
      It may fail if there is no market fit.
      It may fail if it doesn't solves a pain.
      It may fail if it didn't worked properly.
      It wont fail just because you had developed a good product taking time.
      For all the first 3 points, solution is not shipping fast, but do a proper market research and talking to target groups. Or using various communities to listen what people say they sucks at!!!

  5. 1

    I'd say it depends on your product. If you're in a new market and want to test a new idea, it definitely needs to go out as fast as it can!

    But if you're in competitive market, you need to polish your product until your equal or slightly better than competition. This will really help in the long run quickly acquiring new customers.

    That's why with my latest product, I've been taking a few extra steps to make sure to polish it.

    Good post 👍

    1. 2

      I'd still argue shipping it. Even to a closed beta. You NEED user feedback. You could spend 50 years "polishing" it and as soon as users get their hands on it there will ALWAYS be a tonne of feedback that was never, and would never have been, on your radar.

  6. 1

    Sometimes you don't even have to spend a ton of time to build the product. Seriously, if it can be built using no-code or low-code initially, it's worth going that route until you can confirm that your product adoption numbers justify perfecting the product.

  7. 1

    Yeah, bug fixes, not core functionality.

    Depending on the market, it could take a year of coding just to compete, let alone differentiate.

  8. 1

    I think it depends as some other people here but I think not necessarily on the complexity of your app I think there is always something to cut away to shave away some time but if you have solid traction while validating your idea I think you can take all the time you want to ship.

    However if you're fishing in the dark and work on something for 2 years... good luck.

  9. 1

    Cyberpunk 2077 - Sometimes perfektion is s must. 😀

  10. 1

    Short but hard hitting post! :)

  11. 1

    Bravo! Images are more impactful than any content, and you found the perfect images.
    If you are ok, I'll write an article in my blog using your images....

    1. 2

      Fine by me. I just opened up my App Store app and screen grabbed some pending updates. I absolutely knew before I even went there that there would be plenty of examples.

      1. 2

        Yeah, but you know how people are lazy :p :p

  12. 1

    It’s interesting how the product will never be perfect but the MVP can reach a point where it’s perfect for launch.

  13. 1

    While this is true, like someone else said it depends on how complex the program is. If I were to ship customsitenow which is my website builder before fixing a million bugs; it would be unusable. I waited a few months and then launched.

    Guess what? It still had a load of bugs after launch but the difference was that they were not so critical to the point that they would be a nuisance to the user.

    But yes I agree with the general idea of what your saying. Bugs will always be there for as long as a product continues to add new features.

    1. 2

      100% agree. Bugs will be definitely der. But i have been seeing this kind of post everywhere, like ship ship, ship. I will don't ship if i have critical bugs and product is half baked. you are not here to just show how many apps you shipped but how many people really use and love you product is what matter.

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