Ok, I admit it. I was caught in a trap... actually a few; partly of my own making.
After reading "Lean Startup" (see review) and rethinking what I've learned from Seth Godin over the years the message is loud and clear. Build and ship, measure and learn, adapt and ship. This needs to happen sooner than later.
The fear comes from putting a product out there that is conceptually good on paper, but not yet feature complete nor as perfect as I would like. After all you only get one shot at a first impression, right?
But after reading Lean Startup I've accepted that our product is nearing the point (maybe way past?) of being a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and we should get it out there so we can get real feedback. And just like Eric Ries says, if we annoy a few early customers, there are always more and the damage can be minimized. That is the worst that can happen. The best has endless upside.
So better now than later.
The interesting part is the the product we are building is putting together concepts from experience and a number of business gurus and authors to form a platform (tool) for working on your business and your most important work. Every time we learn something more that is really useful, it somehow will get added to our product; sometimes in subtle ways.
Yes, this product will continue to grow and evolve over time. By definition, it will never really be done. Business improvement, agile and lean are continuous by definition.
Yes, this is starting to feel like a Ukrainian/Russian Nesting Easter "egg and chicken" situation.
So the reality is we need to get it out there and learn from customers. Not just what they tell us they want but what we learn they need from experience and observation. We also need to build out our revenue engines.
The fun is just beginning.
Now that I've committed to a launch window I feel somehow that the pressure is actually less; not more.