When you’re creating something to sell it’s natural to want to perfect your creation before you expose it to public scrutiny. You want to create something you’ll be proud of, something that will impress people. But being a perfectionist in business doesn’t pay.
Whether you’re a perfectionist because you obsess over details or because you’re very risk averse, delaying your product launch or opening date to make sure everything’s just right could be holding you back.
According to Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman, entrepreneurs should start with a very thin product.
“It’s the emphasis[on] time. It’s getting out and getting in the market and learning and moving, [which are] much more important than the ego satisfaction of ‘Oh, I want to do it completely behind a cloak and then [remove] the cloak and everyone knows how wonderful and what a genius I am cause they think the product is so wonderful.’ That’s actually rarely the winning strategy. The actual winning strategy is ‘I’m moving, I’m getting out there and I’m adapting at a fast rate.’”
If you’re spending an age developing the perfect product then you’re in danger of being left behind. Markets move at a fast pace. What if once you’ve finally created your masterpiece there’s no demand. The market’s shifted slightly and you’re products not “perfect” for it anymore.
It’s better to ship early and then develop on the fly. You’re never going to get feedback as valuable as the feedback you’ll get by real consumers that have purchased or are considering purchasing your product. That’s a development resource that’s not available when you’re procrastinating over your magnum opus.
So by shipping early not only do you gain access to valuable feedback you’re also making money, moving forward and building a network of potential customers.