Four years ago Steve told me he was writing a small e-book on creative ways to buy a car. I saw him last week at a seminar and asked him about that book. He very excitedly told me he was still working on it but hoped to have it out this year. This Year??? How could it take 4 years to create a 40-page book on buying a car? I guess he’s still getting it “right.”
But that’s a trap I see many people fall into. They spend so much time getting their idea or product or service perfected that they lose the window of opportunity for making it a success.
My advice – if you have it 70% refined, go ahead and release it. My first version of 48 Days to the Work You Love had a hard stock paper cover. People bought it so we gave it a spiral binding and added a single cassette. Then we made it a 3-ring binder with two cassettes inside the front cover. Then my son did a nicer cover design and we changed from the cassettes to two CDs. We ran them 50 copies at a time at Kinko’s and sold over $2 million worth before I ever talked to a publisher about a real “book.”
In the popular book, The Lean Startup, author Eric Ries talked about having a “minimally viable product.” The core features are in place and the initial product allows us to continue to gather information from customers to make it better. Think about how Apple keeps introducing new iPhones. Why don’t they just wait until they get it perfect?
What excuse have you been using for waiting to show the world your idea?