Ship

This is the twelfth post in the series 12 Days of Ideas: Building & Marketing Web Products.
Illustrated by Krista Seidl

Fortunately I think terms like ‘pixel-perfect’ are on the way out.

We’re all working to perfect our product, but that doesn’t mean we’ll ever create a perfect product. The perfect is the enemy of the good. I’ve heard this phrase a million times, and it’s true.

That said, there is a wide range of product quality between ‘perfect’ and ‘good’. So when in doubt, ship.

“No tasks longer than one week. You have to ship something into live production every week – worst case, two weeks.”
— Naval Ravikant, Build a Team that Ships

That post made my palms sweaty the first time I read it. This seems overly dogmatic, I remember thinking. What about taking time to put the idea in front of some users? What about jumping up and down on it in staging for awhile?

Or, what about getting it into production (possibly visible to your team only) to see how it works and feels? We have a new dashboard sitting behind a hidden URL for this very reason. I love working this way. It’s fast, it’s instructive, and it’s not going to upset any users who feel surprised by it.

Then again, it’s just sitting there. We should probably ship it.

“If you’re at the helm of a young company preparing for a launch, don’t. Roll out what you have today to the appropriate users. Get them to love what you’re building.”
— LayerVault, The Launch is Dead

It helps to accept that the approach you’re implementing won’t be a silver bullet to the problem you’re attempting to solve:

“No solution will be without a little harm. The best we can do is keep it to a minimum.”
— Sandy Weisz, An Engineer Embraces Design

This is incredibly liberating news! You are free to ship something that might not be perfect.

“It’s not perfect. We ship too many features, many half-baked. The product is complex, with many blind alleys. It’s hard to integrate non-engineers – they aren’t valued.

“But, we ship.”
— Naval Ravikant, Build a Team that Ships

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Author: Drew

Husband & Dad x3. Designer on the www. Donut + doughnut hound. Amateur gardener. Cat wrangler. Writing when I can, reading when I can't.

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