We just officially launched a new version of Less Annoying CRM. Our whole team has been working on this since March, and it’s the biggest project in the company’s 10-year history. Not only is there a whole new design, but this update includes some major new functionality.
This is the first time we’ve ever had the full product team (4 software engineers plus myself) working on a single project. Normally each person just owns their own project and works independently, but this was too big for one person to handle it by themselves. I learned a ton about project management, planning, etc.
I think the most interesting learning experience for me happened in the last week. Just a few days ago if you’d asked me when the launch would be, I would have said at least a month from now. The only thing that changed between now and then is I moved some cards around on a Trello board.
I was looking at the massive amount of stuff we had left to do before launch, and I asked myself “what would happen if we launched without that stuff?” I realized that the answer was: nothing. Like, all of those things we were planning would be nice to have, but the new version is already such a huge step up over the old one, all the remaining work was just icing on the cake. So why not just launch now and build that other stuff later?
I’m going to try to do a better job of this in the future. Instead of planning out the perfect version of the project, I’m going to figure out what the bare minimum is, ship it, and then add the other stuff in smaller chunks after the initial launch. This is one of the great advantages indie startups have over our bigger competitors. They have to plan press releases, train thousands of employees, coordinate with partners, etc. The only thing stopping us from shipping something is ourselves.