“exit by feature set or by a deadline, but above all, exit” – Intercom’s Des Traynor on launching (exiting) a product.
I’ve been thrilled to hear two entrepreneurs I met with last year take to heart the importance of launching quickly, even if they did not feel “ready”.
In one case, the entrepreneur was building pitch decks trying to get funding on the idea before any development started. No bites for funding, and I finally asked if she believed in the idea enough to fund the initial development herself (and trim scope to MVP). She said yes, funded the initial development, launched, got great traction, and raised a sizable seed round.
In the other case, the entrepreneur needed to believe in her idea more, and share her product. She needed to share her story. With a few connections, she’s gone viral, and has been getting great traction, great mentoring and advisement… doors are now opening easily for her.
Then, I run into the occasional wantrepreneur or idealist who claims to want to start something so bad, and then spins wheels on trying to make things “perfect”.
The funny thing about perfect is that there can be no improvement. It’s already the best. That is the very definition of perfect. The problem is that “perfect” doesn’t exist… and while chasing perfect, "good enough" or "great start" don’t occur.
First-time entrepreneurs struggle hard at this concept as they enter this new world full of energy, passion, and vision of “what should be” rather than “what could be”.
Today is too fast-paced to “reach perfection” as we are constantly evolving – improving or otherwise, we change too often. Our perspectives, our desires, they all change. So what lofty visions we aim for and try to build before launching will ultimately delay our ability to launch, test, learn, and iterate towards a reality that evolves.
Invest today, launch sooner rather than later, and iterate while on your journey. Rare is it that your journey requires so much investment, so little room for error that you can’t give it a go now.
Like Des said – define a line to launch, and launch. Don’t sit there dreaming and moving the line farther. There’s simply no good time to let aspirations and inspirations delay.