10 reasons why shipping an average product is better than waiting forever on a perfect idea.
Here’s one common phenomenon I’ve noticed in the maker community: It starts with the maker working so hard in the early days to challenge himself/herself to ship a couple products. Then he/she actually ships and attracts some wins and confidence. Then they hit a brick wall. This is usually accompanied by judging their next idea to be so “low value” and believing falsely that there is a perfect flawless idea waiting for them out there in the wild.
I’m no stranger to this mental state. I’ve been through several crests and troughs as a maker and I’m currently even squatting on a “new idea” that I believe isn’t as exciting as my 1st even maker product. Each milestone now feels like a drag. The resistance feels so hard to overcome. I am aware this is what Gary Vaynerchuk would call “endless dwelling” about the idea instead of shipping it (working on it!).
Here’s how you can test whether you are in the “DWELL MODE” instead of the “ship mode”: You will pass 2 days without pushing the product forward and instead run the same excuses in your mind almost like dejavu.
Here’s what I’ve used to help me jump out of it.
First, take a moment and pause everything.
Realize, you are in the DWELL MODE.
Extend your perspective to beyond just this little project.
Remember it is not all about outcomes and results but the joy of making things.
“Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it. “ — Mahatma Gandhi
Today, I was having the same conversation with a friend and I challenged myself to sit down and write 10 reasons I would tell a much younger maker on the importance of shipping as someone who has shipped 2 products myself. This was a fun way to get out of my head and find perspective from outside in. I thought I’ll share those with you too (see below). I hope you will relate to at least one of these and that will be enough to push you beyond your excuse wall.
1) You will learn that the process is more important than the outcomes.
2) You will learn to attach your self-worth to your discipline and habits than purely results.
3) You will have more chances (at-bats) to master the A-Z steps of the journey of building a product because coming up with an idea is just the start.
4) You will realize how a great idea is probably only 10-20% of the whole experience. The rest is engaging and serving users.
5) You will discover and focus on several ways to “positively influence” your users than with a flawless magical product.
6) A bad product with an amazing customer service is far better than an amazing product idea with bad service.
7) An app is a service to other people. Not a egotistical excuse to feel good/bad.
8) With your app idea/product idea, you are offering a “slightly” better path solution for presumably a lot of people with the same problem pattern. So squatting on a solution isn’t going to help test your hypothesis.
9) As you ship more, you will learn to see existing human behaviors and patters where new opportunities might arise from which is impossible just by squatting on one idea.
10) You will learn to approach things with curiosity, experiment with new techniques, build a valuable solution, share your findings openly and more importantly you will learn to make your journey about the community.