I worry that companies like Apple have set an impossibly high bar that others are attempting to emulate. The idea that you must have a perfect product at launch is a pervasive myth, dangerous to the bottom line and a great source of frustration for everyone involved.
The truth is, creating a perfect product is impossible. There will always be another feature to add, a pixel that’s out of place. The client will always find some new source of inspiration, modifying their vision based off of the latest Google product or the most recent fishing website they visited.
On the web, these things can be added easily over time. We are not building a physical product that you are stuck with after launch. Instead, we have created processes, tools, and methods that enable us to continuously add new features, test them, and deploy them to your site. For it’s part, even Apple continues to release new versions with additional features, design tweaks, and bug fixes for even their physical products.
Earlier in my career, I worked with a particular client. A small business, intended to be based entirely upon the web. Their idea was novel, a type of e-commerce that certainly had appeal, and a vision that seemed, to me at least, to be destined for success.
Three months later, the website was complete. It had the functionality they wanted. It came in at about 80% budget, and about a month ahead of schedule. It worked. The client, however, was not quite pleased. Certainly they were happy with the timeline and budget, but when they took screenshots in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome and then overlaid them onto each other, they noticed that the designs were not exactly the same in each. In some places, a button was in slightly different places. In other places, the fonts rendered just a little differently.
Six months passed getting everything pixel perfect. This was not just design work: the client reasoned that, since we had to delay launch anyway, we should go ahead and add some new features, tweak a few things with the shipping system, and add user profiles.
As the business owner, only you can decide when you are ready to launch. It is important to stop and think, though: Is it worth delaying launch to shift these pixels to the left for 10% of our users? Is it worth potentially giving up our advantage so we can add this feature?