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38 Comments

Are you ever embarrassed at the product/service you've built?

I heard a quote, attributed to the founder of LinkedIn - "If you're not a little embarrassed of your first product, you waited too long to launch the business"

Do you believe this is true?

I'm trying to decide if I'm a little embarrassed or a lot embarrassed lol.

I play tug of war with myself about when to start telling others my service is ready - even though there are important features missing. The core, how-is-your-service-different-from-others feature is working.

  1. 7

    Yes. I'm always afraid I made some crucial mistake and the world will discover I'm actually an idiot.

  2. 6

    I'm two years in and still embarrassed 😂 it never goes away. Usually whenever I put the marketing hat on, self doubt starts to creep in.

    …but then there are other times I take a step back and I'm like "damn, I made something awesome." So, it swings both ways.

    1. 1

      Thanks! I know what you mean!

  3. 5

    Totally agree with the saying.
    By definition, you cannot be done and have the perfect product when you launch. Unless you are working on a teleportation device (and even).

    Launch.

    Be humble - explain it's Alpha or Beta version. People can related to that. Ask plenty of feedback.

    But launch.
    It's the only way to validate your idea and actually drive towards the great product you want it to be.

    Cemeteries are full of people with fantastic ideas, still working on their first version in their grave. You do not want to be one of them...

    1. 2

      Thanks! I need to begin telling more people about it. A couple IH know, that's about it.

  4. 3

    If you´re the perfectionist, create an mvp list. What is essential for launch, and just go with it. Emotions can be a tricky thing to rely on for a launch.

    1. 2

      Yeah this is what I've ended up doing.

  5. 3

    Yep, but i also read reviews of my competitors.

    One company raised 140m+ and their editor is still buggy as hell and slows down a lot. But it still gets so much hype.

    Doing marketing as a developer is so hard as you know all the issues with your product.

    1. 1

      Yeah I was a bit concerned about a quasi competitor and the fact they've raised all this money. And here I am, a wanna-be dev lol. Kept moving forward though.

  6. 3

    Here's my take. I'm building something that is missing about 80% of what it needs to be in a real competitive advantage with the competition. I'm not there yet. But the product is out there and there are people trying it out and providing feedback.

    My job is to envision that missing 80% and execute as fast as I can addressing (or not) the feedback I get. I expect to feel embarrassed about the product because it isn't ready. But people know this as well, and some find it exciting to witness the development.

    Launch something, get feedback, improve, Launch again, get feedback...

  7. 2

    Not the product that I'm developing myself, but when I was employed recently yes. Our CEO at the time was pushing us to deliver features as fast as possible which mean the quality of deployments was abysmal as was the UX / validation. Every release just made us seem more incompetent while simultaneously not solving customer problems.

    That said to OP, don't be embarrassed by rough edges; there is always something that could be better or a bit clunky. Just focus on releasing something that is functional and provides value. If every feature at least hits those marks, you're winning.

    edit: My current strategy is rather simple:

    1. Take time to properly design each feature
    2. Test, test, test and then test some more
    3. Release a stable, quality build

    Right now, my product https://www.metastash.io/ is live with only the ability to register and manage organizations. Just release yo!

  8. 2

    Haha, this is me right now. Just launched the MyCheckins MVP and I have to say that I am embarrassed at how the product turned out.

    I'm currently doing user interviews. I can't help but feel slightly embarrassed (especially about the UI) when bringing the product out because I know I can do so so so much better.

    But I know that my goal is to validate the concept. And this gets the job done.

    I think the key takeaway is building a lean MVP that you're embarrassed about, but not too embarrassed about. Just a tinge of "I-can-do-so-much-better-than-this" is the sweet spot imo. If it's too bad, you'll lose customers. Too perfect, and you might spend too much time/resources by the time it's done. The sweet spot seems to be around a slightly crappy but workable product. Just enough to do one thing very well.

  9. 2

    Yep, all the time! But I think you already know that the right thing to do is get it out there. Embarrassment now is better than later, when you're thinking "why did I put so much effort into all the parts nobody is using?!" :-P

    Plus, the feature creep will embarrass you later, when it's a mess of complex features that users can't make sense of!

    1. 1

      Exactly, thank you!

  10. 2

    I launched just to early signups to my email list today and I was embarrassed! Horrified really.

    But it was worth it. I got incredible user feedback and bug reports too. And now I feel a massive momentum to hustle for my users!

  11. 2

    I'm a perfectionist who have made this mistake many times. Always thinking that the product is not good enough yet to be shown to the public. Always trying to build this and that feature first before releasing. Then when those are built, I'll come up with some excuses again "ohh but I think it's still not ready, why don't I build that 1 more feature first"...

    In hindsight, I see competitors who released their product has lesses features than us and they're doing great.

    1. 1

      Yeah I def don't want to put too much into it. Perhaps I already have.

  12. 2

    The core, how-is-your-service-different-from-others feature is working.

    That's all you need to get early feedback from real users! I launched my journaling app without an edit or delete button... actually waited years to add editing and yet many people tried the app and gave me helpful feedback.

  13. 2

    Jason, I don't ever feel embarrassed about what I launch, I often think it could have more, but I love to just get it out there. When I look back at what I launched a few months down the road I then often think... "what was i thinking"

    1. 1

      Good mindset to have. Thanks!

  14. 2

    The world sees millions of rascals, liers, thieves, rapers, killers on a daily basis. Most of them are not embarrassed of their actions.

    Why should you, buddy? You're not doing any harm.

    Go take that brave journey, do all in your power to make it successful and - if things will ever have to turn bad - the only one you should be embarrassed with is bad luck

  15. 1

    I believe most entrepreneurs have a similar feeling at some points during their career. But keep in mind that what's going to make a difference is if your product/service is helping your customers, not the amount of embarrassment you're feeling. I'd encourage you to acknowledge the feelings but focus on the questions that are going to help you move forward.

  16. 1

    Back in 2009, when I launched the very first version of my B2B app, it was a shame.

    Our sales presentations people were fascinated as it was something new (only one year after the Apple App Store went live).

    The app had only one function: to display a determined KPI in red/yellow/green depending on the target pre-set. Even with only one thing to do, it crashed a lot.

    But in the end, it helped me to understand my then customers: they preferred to receive an SMS when things went wrong rather than opening the app to check.

    1. 1

      Thank you for sharing your experience Leo!

  17. 1

    It's true.

    Whenever I look back at what I had produced, be it apps, articles or talks, I feel a bit embarrassed but at the same time, I am proud of myself for how far I have grown.

    I believe if you're not embarrassed by your past self, you haven't grown enough.

  18. 1

    Yes. I spent lot of time in searching one product by reading reviews of all competitors.
    After few days, I found a billing site that is easy to use :https://myinfo.pk/wapda-bill-online-duplicate/

  19. 1

    Dude we were from our first prototype of paperless.io - just launched it, and now we are just happy 🙌🏻

  20. 1

    Yes. But do I care? No.

  21. 1

    I created an inboxup.io (see archive.org, chrome extension - gmail mail tracker) but due to gmail assessment charges ($15K-$75K) I've to shut down only in 1 month. I started this project before new gmail policy and completed right at the time new gmail policy launched. So, my bad luck.

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