“The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.” – Maimonides
“You can’t ship something to customers without it being polished to perfection. I’d be ashamed!”
“We’re still working through the teething problems.”
I was caught in the middle of this dispute. I understood where both parties were coming from. Whenever you try to do something new there are certain issues that don’t show up until the product is in the hands of the consumer. As such you run the risk of damaging the trust. That’s why you should always take the feedback seriously.
They’d been as thorough as they could’ve been with the time allotted. Some early adopters had been less than satisfied. This was good. It hadn’t yet reached a wider market and these problems were completely solvable.
I tried to explain that while making sure that the team had realized the gravity of the errors there needed to be less shaming. Comments like “I’d be ashamed” aren’t productive. It could lead to the team making safer bets rather than trying something new.
A few weeks later the problem was resolved and version 2.0 hit the market after further testing. They’d learned from their mistake and made other improvements as well. The feedback from the early adopters was crucial and while they probably lost a few the product is all the better as they rev up to reach a new set of customers.
We should make our product, whatever it is, as good as we possibly can. But we should also know that we have no clue how it’ll work in the hands and hearts of our audience before we actually ship it.
Rest assured that mistakes WILL be made. Some people may ridicule us for not forseeing the problems. We shouldn’t be discouraged. We should be curious. This gives us a great opportunity to learn from them and grow.