That is definitely not the question. The question is: how much improvement to the initial product is too much improvement.
I have read somewhere that some famous entrepreneurs said that if you’re not ashamed of the first product you launched, you have launched too late (or something along these lines).
While I can understand that there is truth in this, I can’t agree. I think, that your reputation, you can only damage it once. So, launching too early, when the product is still something I wouldn’t buy, or wear, is a big mistake.
Salvador Dali said
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
My conclusion is that the truth, in this case, is, as always, in the middle of too extremes: launching too early and risking to launch a low quality product that nobody will want or launching too late, with a perfectly designed product that nobody will like.
Theoretically speaking, the best would be to launch when the product is of a decent enough quality and test it with the market. Improving the product with the feedback from the market is a much better idea than improving it in complete isolation and risking to go in the wrong direction.
As, I said, theoretically speaking. How do you decide that in real life? And, beside everything else, how do you do to take out of the equation the emotional and subjective factors?
It’s my idea, I have designed it, how can I not like it? But will my target audience find it likable?
Time to throw away the books and go free style: Put on some of the bracelets and went “out of the building” (Steve Blank said that in one of his books), got a few “wows” and a few “they look good” and decided it’s good enough to launch.
There was still a small problem though: the website. Technically speaking it worked (we could receive orders, payments, and fulfill the orders) but we had a feeling that it wasn’t “optimized for conversion” (still laughing when thinking about this – you’ll see why in the next blog post).
The decision we’ve made was to build a simple home page that reflected our brand image and plug the ecommerce website. And launch. Test. And adapt.
It proved to be a good decision.
You can visit the ecommerce part of the website and see for yourself how it evolved.