This is my first startup. With it comes countless lessons. If I’m fortunate and sensible, mistakes I’ve made this time around I will avoid with startups two, three, four, etc.
Lesson I’ve learned: Perfection is envious but impractical.
Throughout this process I’ve wanted everything to be perfect – our books, our website, our iPad app, the buttons in the app, the location of certain text, a color, a texture, and on and on. It has become abundantly clear to me that even if perfection is possible, it’s certainly not practical. Perfection as a goal seems like it could make sense. Why wouldn’t you want your product, user experience, interface, etc. to be perfect? For one, perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Further, the likelihood that you nail it the first time is near zero. Continuous improvement makes so much more sense. It’s a mantra in the land of tech startups: build quickly, release early, get feedback, iterate, and repeat often.
This all seems so logical now but it took experiencing the process for me to arrive here. Reading about it is not a substitute for doing it and learning firsthand. Recently, I’ve found it easier to say things like, “We’ll tackle that in version two.” or “It’s good enough for now. Let’s see what users think.” I wish I had gotten here sooner but arriving here at all gives me optimism about my own continuous improvement.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that our products won’t be perfect, not when we first release them, not ever. We will just keep improving and hopefully that leads to happy users.
Now, off to perfect a few things in our iPad app before we release it ;)