Update and a note on perfection
It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything on the blog and that’s because we’ve been hard at work doing some extensive testing and putting the finishing touches to our product! It’s all coming along very nicely (despite being slightly behind schedule) and we are super excited to be getting closer and closer to our launch.
While on a break from work this afternoon, Ed and I were reflecting on the past couple of weeks – the last mile of the (development) race, if you want to put it in those terms. We’ve been making a lot of updates trying to make sure everything looks good and the user experience is as smooth as possible.
One point that came up in our discussion was that we could go on and on forever making these types of changes and tweaks, trying to get to that point of perfection. The only issue is, our product will never be perfect. What is perfect anyway? Perfect from whose perspective? No matter how much time and effort we spend, I guarantee you there will always be additional work that could be done to make our final product look that much sexier or make it that much easier to use.
The conclusion we came to at the end of our conversation was that everything you’ve heard about the ‘80/20 Rule’ is absolutely true! The last 20% can easily take you 80% of the time if you don’t pull the reins on the constant, annoying itch that I call perfection.
So, as entrepreneurs wearing product manager hats, we’re finding it to be absolutely key to set ourselves a deadline, a cut off point after which we say that’s it, whether we like it or not, this will be the first version of our product. Otherwise, we risk opening the door to getting sucked into a never-ending cycle of tweaks, updates and improvements that will only marginally improve our final product (if at all) but will keep kicking our go-live date farther and farther down the road.
To summarize and keep it lean Reid Hoffman the founder of LinkedIn said it best: ‘If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.’
Ayham ShakraOctober 1, 2013
Great post Subhi.
I would like to add that as far as testing user interface and usability, we found that testing with 5-10 people, is in most cases enough to identify the major issues that need to be addressed/changed.
A lot of time can be saved testing with a small group vs. a large one, as long as it is representative of the target customer profile.
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