It's human nature to get ensnared in the perils of perfectionism when developing any new project or venture. There always seems to be room for more improvements if we give it a little more time. It's never seems realistic to say "good enough" and go with what we've got at that point. It becomes a major struggle to release version 1.0. We fear getting criticized for imperfections that we already know need more work. We postpone the inevitable reactions of envy, contempt, rivalry and dismissal by continuing to make our good idea better and better.
We fall into the last of the ten pitfalls I've explored here when we escape our perfectionistic tendencies. We drop kick our innovation and and let the market run with it. We give up on refining the project for many years to come. We introduce our innovation with no upgrade path in the works. We flip flop from relentless refinement to abandoning the improvement process out of frustration. We have no plans to grow enhancements slowly with insights realized from users and their varied uses. We assume we're no longer in possession of our innovation's process of evolving and maturing.
Here are some ways to run with the ball for many more generations:
- Brainstorm a list of all possible improvements and prioritize the items to identify the next two upgrades to work on next.
- Work enough iterations with the possible enhancements to identify difficult tradeoffs or forks in the development path where customers can provide valuable input.
- Crowdsource suggestions for future upgrades and let the "most often submitted" and/or the "highest ranked submittals" establish which get implemented.
- Create part or full time positions to rapidly prototype new features, functionality and use cases to extend the life of the project.
When product development becomes an ongoing process, the sustainability of the enterprise improves. The longevity of relationships with customers becomes more likely. The market values the obvious commitment of the enterprise to find better ways to serve the customers and create valuable experiences for them.