Your company, product, service or application will never be finished. It will never be what you would consider to be “perfect.” Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs don’t get this concept. They lock themselves away in dark rooms and keep tweaking and tinkering, thinking that if they can just get everything perfect, their business will be a success.
In the meantime, those companies that simply launch their offering gain a major advantage. While they wouldn’t launch something half-finished they realize that 90 percent perfect is “good enough.” They understand that there’s really no way to know every flaw, bug or feature request until they actually get their product in the hands of their intended customer.
That’s a philosophy we have at Equalminds. We practice what is commonly referred to as “agile development” by our peers. Essentially, instead of building a completely finished product we tackle small projects and release them as and when they are ready. This allows us to iterate our software as needed. In fact, there are many benefits to be obtained when you realize that it’s better to release, rather than finish:
1. Speed wins
When you release quickly, you have an advantage over your competitors that tinker and tweak. While they’re trying to achieve imaginary perfection, your company is achieving real sales, real market share. While you don’t want to be sloppy, you also can’t afford to take your time.
2. Perfection equals second place
Let’s say it took you 2 years to release the perfect product. A whole lot can change in that time. Customer demands may have shifted. A competitor may have launched a cheaper, faster alternative. By being agile, you can set smaller, short-term deadlines that reduce the chances that your market will shift gears on you.
3. Who’s perfection is it anyway?
There’s no real way to know if your product or service is perfect until you get it into the hands of your customers. You may find that some features are never actually used. You know, the ones that delayed your launch by 2 months while you perfected them. Also, product bugs are just like their real-world insect namesakes, in that you never really find them all. Even though Apple thought it was releasing the perfect iPhone 4, it didn’t take long for its customers to find the major problem with the device’s antenna.
4. It energizes your employees
Being agile provides a better energy kick than ten cans of energy drink. Not only does your team get the chance to work on different projects, they get the satisfaction of continually launching new features. You reduce the chances of burnout that comes from months of working on the same project with nothing to show for it.
5. It energizes your customers
When you embrace agile development—and deployment—you also energize your customers. Equalmind’s customers get excited about any new feature we add to our dashboard.
It gives your customers, and your market, something new to talk about. It keeps your company “top of mind” while that competitor that’s still in “stealth mode” languishes in perfect obscurity.