Launch First, Ask Questions Later

Published 13th July 2011

Recently I’ve been following the 37Signals mantra of Getting Real. What that means is I’ve been launching software when it is at it’s “minimum viable product” stage, and then getting real feedback from real users about it. The whole idea behind this kind of process is you cut out the things you think you need, but actually don’t, and concentrate on building the things you actually need, but may not realise you do. To quote the book:

With real, running software everyone gets closer to true understanding and agreement. You avoid heated arguments over sketches and paragraphs that wind up turning out not to matter anyway. You realize that parts you thought were trivial are actually quite crucial.
Real things lead to real reactions. And that’s how you get to the truth.

I’ve done this now with the

Nivo Slider WordPress Plugin and my recent web app Propagated Yet. I’m finding it great because I’m getting products out really quick, then based on the feedback, I have a fast development cycle to update the products with only the features they need. Which ultimately means the users (you guys) get the best possible product, even if it’s not fully functional when its first released.

What do you think about the Getting Real mantra? Are you using it in your software development?