January 12, 2021

Finding the shipping point

Justin Hunter @polluterofminds

I tend not to have a problem shipping products, but I know some developers and some founders get caught in this cycle of constantly building and iterating without ever shipping. I understand it. I consciously have to force myself to avoid it. You want to ship something nice and usable, but you have to balance that with actually shipping. I wrote recently about shipping MVPs, and I want to talk more about the idea of finding the shipping point.

For Perligo, I feel like I'm getting close to the shipping point, but what is that exactly? What is the point at which you can stop coding and push your product out there? I think for each product it's different, but here's the general framework I've tried to apply:

  • Users can authenticate (if necessary)
  • Users can accomplish the task they set out to accomplish (this one is very subjective and takes marketing copy and education to make sure your users are trying to accomplish tasks you want them to accomplish)
  • A problem is solved.

Three things. Seems easy, but when you look at those things, they are pretty opaque. I think this is how we end up with products under development for months and months and even years without shipping. If you feel yourself wondering if you should have launched, the answer is probably...yes. But check the bullet points above. If you feel like you can say yes to all three, it's probably safe to launch.

If you miss the shipping point, you run the risk of never shipping, or shipping so late you're burnt out and hate your product. What is everyone else's take on this idea?

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