"If it fits, it ships."
That’s a hell of a tagline used by the USPS to describe their flat rate boxes. The USPS, by the way, is the best shipper in the country, hands down, but that’s a topic for another post. Full disclosure: I do think the government can get it right some times.
Anyway, that’s not what this is about. When I hear the phrase “If it fits, it ships,” I don’t think about red white and blue boxes, I think about MVPs. MVP is such a loose term these days, everyone uses it to describe their product, and their product is never a true MVP. I believe in a militant style of minimum viable product development. It should be small in scope, and then cut out 25% of that. Then ship it. Whatever you can fit into that iteration is what you ship. Make the original timeline you set out for yourself. Timelines always get pushed. What you think will take 8 weeks takes 12. Or 14.
My theory is: Ship whatever the hell you have finished in those first 8 weeks. Then keep working.
You’ll have 100% more customers with a half-finished product that's actually on the market than you will with something that only lives in development on your laptop. I promise.
[Redacted Yoda quote about 'doing' and 'trying']
In this modern web world, it’s those that can ship products that will win the race. The race is to market. People get confused and think that their idea is their baby, and they don’t want to be the mother with the ugly baby. I promise you, by the time you’ve built a gorgeous baby, someone with an ugly baby is already getting paid for their ugly baby. Sorry, you just missed the baby boat. It sailed.
I treat writing the same way. You don’t know it, but I just deleted 50 words I didn’t like. This article is an MVP of it's own. A crappy one, I admit.
You might be asking yourself, “What the hell has this guy shipped?” And to that, I would like to say: “Shit, I work for an agency. Do as I say, not as I half-assedly do.”