Shipping Fast

In the startup world, everyone swears by shipping fast & shipping often.  I always knew this in principle, but never fully felt like I grasped & understood it to the full extent.

When you are faced with “Shipping Fast,” it usually comes with a trade off.  This could be additional features you wanted to add, or refinement of your current ones.  Either way, it forces you to really prioritize what you want to showcase, and why.

Vince and I had so many features that we wanted to roll out.  Our idea in full would have realistically taken a year to create, perfect, and bring to market.  We knew we needed to make a minimum viable product, and slowly test the market / add features, but its a totally different feeling when your going through the motions.  Talking about it with a beer over dinner is so much easier.

We are 1 month in of launch, and at times felt like we shipped way too early.  We forced Ricardo & Rommel (Our Dev Team) to slap things together at the last minute due to the pressing deadlines & urgency we gave them.  The feedback you always receive is expected.  “This doesn’t work, the app doesn’t flow, this doesn’t make sense etc,”  Once you really get past all the whimsical UI / technicalities, you’ll be able to hear the true voices of your market.  They’ll tell you a ton of things, but it’s up to you to not only sift out what’s important, but what they’re really trying to say.

I don’t mean they’re lying to you, or intending to beat around the bush.  A ton of the user feedback we encounter starts with the problem -> how they would specifically handle it.  I’ll give you an example (specifically on our platform):

“I don’t know if I can trust this person” (turns in to) “You should create a 5 star rating system.”

Although it may be a good idea, you don’t want to jump into creating the next yelp just yet.  It look a little practice but once I dove into the depths of the “why,” the solution became apparent.  This led us to be able to come up with one solution for what we thought was many problems, through many user suggestions.  Hopefully were right.

The bottom line is: We would have never been able to understand immediately what was important to our market.  If we had waited until everything was perfect, we would have just had an extremely refined & useless application – a year later.

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