October 11, 2017

Launch launch launch, even if your product doesn’t look right yet

To launch or not to launch, that’s the question. But more importantly, when is the even bigger question. Taking the decision requires a lot of data, thinking, and analyzing. But how can you take the product from an MVP to a decent-shape-worthy-of-launching? Well, you don’t. You need to launch as soon as your product is starting to do what it’s supposed to do. And here is how:

How to improve your metrics? Iterate.

Talk to users and change. If something is wrong, there’s definitely a reason. You need to find it and fix it.The 2 worst things people do when something is not working are:

  1. They say “no I understand what’s going on better than anybody else.” They keep going down the same path which is definitely wrong because they’re ignoring the signals.
  2. They change their metrics. “Oh we know we’re supposed to focus on our traction but it’s not growing so let’s switch to revenue”. All this just because it is one of the metrics that makes them look good. The one that gives them a feeling of success.

Ego is an important thing to help you push your way through, but you can’t let it become the obstacle. Because, at the end of the day, you HAVE to understand what it is that you’re doing wrong in order to fix it.

How to iterate? A/B testing is good, but not always.

A/B is about changing something on your website to see what attracts or works better with your customers. To see how your click rates will change. But that doesn’t always give you the real picture. You have to dig deeper into the “guts” of what you’re doing. If you’re losing customers because of the server then A/B is absolutely useless and you actually have to re-engineer everything. Or if your feature is not a right fit then you’ll have to build something completely new. Instead, listen to your customer’s feedback but you don’t have to build exactly what they say. Go with your intuition based on the feedback you get. Then build what they’ll need and will grow to not be able to live without. If you built something that is useful, even in the smallest way, to your users put it out there! Because if you wait for some sort of dramatic launch, you're going to be too late.

Just launch something.

The thing that you think is the next best thing sometimes isn’t. You won’t know it unless you interact with your customers. Don’t wait for the features to be right. Don’t delay because a specific graphic isn’t there yet. Launch and then adjust. You’ll grow it much faster with the feedback you’ll get. Nobody cares if you have that graphic.

They care if the product actually works and is doing what it’s supposed to do or not.  But don’t launch if your product doesn’t work. There’s a fine tradeoff between “it looks great but works medium” and “it looks medium but works great”. Most of your valuable customers are more interested in the latter rather than the overall aesthetics. 

Yes, a posh-looking product is nice to have but a running product that does the job is great to have. Keep that in mind.If it looks nice but the buttons don’t work then you have a problem. You have a very small window to make a first impression with someone so it has to be good. On the other hand, you can always launch as many times as you want. No one will remember the couple fist designs and versions of your product so you don’t have to make it remarkable. 

Just make it functional and get it out there as soon as you can.  Moreover, think about it this way: the more you improve your designs as you go, the more your customers will be impressed and appreciate the evolution of the UI/UX! So just launch it, see what happens, keep launching over and over till people start to notice. Every feature is a new launch. So keep at it until you get to the point where it’s hard to for people not to notice.