In August of 2018, I joined a bootcamp called the Coding Dojo that is an intensive coding program that has been an amazing experience in helping me to understand the complexity that goes into software development.
As you know, because you are reading this on my website, I have been building MinnoTank for more than a year now. But one of my largest difficulties as a non-technical founder is to understand the difficulty of software development and how to communicate / understand developers to achieve MinnoTank’s product mission.
At the Coding Dojo, I have had the privilege of working with an amazing group of developers who volunteered to help build MinnoTank. So with a laundry list of features, we set out to make MinnoTank’s web-app a reality.
With 10 developers we learned so much in the past few weeks working together. From naming conventions, to API usage, to the true art / challenge of front end development… we learned quite a bit.
But a large part of that learning was to understand prioritization and function of product. Without experience in technical leadership, I attempted to heard these developers together and achieve deliverables in a short time frame. This theory, in the end, failed; but thankfully, it failed quickly.
Within just one week we, as a team, learned the difficulty of cooperative development and how to prioritize what to work on first. Although MinnoTank will not be able to launch our web-app on October 1st as we had hoped the learning this talented team achieved in such a short amount of time was priceless.
So, here’s my theory on Why Launch Late.
1. Users are forgiving of design if, functionally, your product does something useful or interesting. But a beautiful design and a lack of functionality: unforgivable.
2. You only get a single first impression. Software is an ever evolving organism and is never perfect, but you should start of on the right foot. If you’ve spent more than a year building up an audience of 1000’s of interested potential users, make sure when you launch your product it makes an impression.
3. Developing software is exhausting. More coding hours does not equal more productivity. Keeping developers focused, excited and on target is part of the challenge. Forcing an early deployment can be much more hurtful to morale than valuable to product.
For these reasons and more, MinnoTank will be delaying our launch until we are confident that it functional to our specifications. Stay tuned, as we are delaying for a reason and plan to be impress when we launch. `
-Ken G. Barton