...and why you should just RELEASE it!
Last week, on Valentine's Day, we pulled the trigger and launched DatePlay in the App Store. It was absolutely terrifying. For the past year, we have been working on app development, planning and design and we wanted it to be absolutely perfect. Our aim was to release in the autumn, but we missed the deadline. Then, we aimed to get it out by new years, and again, we missed that date.
When early February rolled around, we were examining the app and we realized that there was still so much to fix. For example, in the chat, the messages were sometimes covered by the "fun fact" icebreaker banner. And the profile was taking the user's high school from Facebook, rather than their university. I was stressed beyond belief. I was sure that we were going to miss Valentine's Day, the biggest dating day of the year.
That's when we sat down with one of our mentors for lunch at our local sushi place and told him about all our issues. We told him that we were considering postponing our launch yet again. That's when he gave my co-founder, Joris, and I the most valuable advice ever. Just get on with it and RELEASE the app! It is NEVER going to be perfect.
One of the biggest issues that early stage startups phase is running out of cash before gaining traction. Delaying the launch of our app was leading us into that black hole. Benjamin Franklin's famous phrase, "Time is Money", is definitely true. Each delay that you have is costly and the more time you spend working on the app, the more money you spend.
My parents are architects and they always say that you need to set the client's expectations right and always add a couple of months to the projected delivery date. That is what I learned about app development. This is my first time developing a mobile application and bringing it to market and let me tell you - it takes a lot longer than expected!
I'm happy that we pulled the trigger and released it because now we are getting more user feedback than ever. And we have a ton of work to do. Our app is nowhere near perfect. I hope that this post helps other early stage app companies make the difficult, scary choice to pull the trigger and launch their product! Even if it's not completely ready. Just do it.