It’s easy to get paralyzed by overthinking. The brain is a powerful thing, and can imagine any number of scenarios where your product or project will fail. So we spend another day, another week, another year improving things. We spend another hour debating whether we should ask the girl at the library out on a date. We spend another decade wondering if we should look for a new job.
Stop waiting. Act. And then listen to the response and react.
This is an old argument, often called “fire fire aim”. It’s very easy to ignore. But it’s a very powerful tool.
Let me tell you a story…
Once upon a time our customers at UserVoice asked to be able to vote for ideas within our widget. We thought it was a great, if tricky, idea. We made design after design, and even built 3 versions of the thing. But we saw potential drawbacks to all of them, so we never released them. Meanwhile, our customers felt like we were ignoring them.
Yesterday, we launched UserVoice Helpdesk. While is by no means escaped the delays of attempted perfection, we finally set a release date and stuck to it. And it’s missing things. We’ve found bugs. We don’t know if the pricing plans are perfect. We don’t know if one of the features that didn’t make it into this version is going to be a showstopper for some people.
But you know what? People are talking about it.
And now we’re ready to react. We’re collecting feedback via our feedback forum. We’re listening to the emails we’re getting, and the comments across the web. We’re learning what is REALLY important, and we’ll quickly move to implement these things (in fact, we literally revamped our marketing site a few hours after launching based on feedback from confused visitors).
Yes, Helpdesk isn’t perfect. But if we tried to make it perfect, it would not be getting the attention it is right now, because it would be in development forever. Oh, and it allows voting within the widget.
Take a leap of faith. Put yourself out there. And then keep your ears open so you can quickly improve your product.