I have just released the first version of my product and it looks awful!

You know that feeling when you build your product, and you see every single defect in it? Hell yeah! I have just raised my head from codding an image optimization tool for web publishers. I called it Picpipe 0.2.1 :) Never got this versioning thing. From my intuition that the last digit is about bug fixes and the second digit is a major feature. So yeah I have developed responsive image snippets and renamed it from 0.1.3 to 0.2.1. The last 1 is because I fixed an annoying bug on the way. :D

Did I finish?

Oh no! If you look at my Trello roadmap board, you'll see that I'm not even close!
Picpipe - My roadmap Trello board

It still has some pretty apparent defects. Like the logo on top is pixelized and appears blur :D. I don't have 'forgot password' functionality, so there is no way for a user to login if she forgets the password. If you drag and drop an image to a window - it will display the image on the whole app window and block all the buttons. The only way to go back from this state would be to kill the app via Activity Monitor and relaunch it :D.

It has many other annoying bugs and a bunch of features I would love to develop before launching. I'd love my users to have the best first impression.
Picpipe - I want the best experience for my users.

Why I decided to launch it anyway.

There is a famous quote by Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, which shaped my thinking on this launch:

"If You're Not Embarrassed By The First Version Of Your Product, You’ve Launched Too Late."

It was a hard decision. I felt so good tweaking design here and there, making the app looking like one of Apple's product with attention to every single detail. I'd love to add more features that feel a top-level necessity, and I could do that another month or two for sure.

But then I realized, that this is just a trap of my comfort zone. The product as is, solves my problem and of my beta users. It is super raw and awry version. The core features what it was all about (in the first place) are working, and even adding images to this blog post became much more comfortable and less time-consuming.

Would it be so dramatic if someone abandons the app because he forgot his password? I think that if this app helps the user to do the job, he will send me an email and I'll reset his password manually, and if someone abandon the app, well he didn't need it anyway.

I made it super easy to send me feedback from inside the app, and hope to fix things as long as I am getting the real feedback.

Picpipe users feedback form

Same thing about the pixelized logo and all other bugs that are annoying me a lot.
People don't hire product because those things, but because it helps them to get the job done.

The first version of the product is just your guess. Well, educated guess if you do your homework and talk to potential customers before. This is what I did.
Now the way to turn my guess to a real product is by iteration with real customers and hear their feedback.

What I am going to do next?

I have a nice amount of emails on the waiting list that I've collected on my landing page before building Picpipe. Later I'll share here my approach to validate the idea and get customers interview on IH.

My current focus is to show the app to the world! I have started iterating with my subscribers.

The other feature ideas on my Trello will have to wait for later :)
After some iterations, the next step would be to start marketing which is waaayyyy out of my comfort zone.

Last word.

There is a famous Russian artist and stand up comic Mikhail Zhvanetsky that once said a smart thing about apartment renovation. I have rephrased this quote for improving and refactoring process:

Improving your app is not an action. It's a condition. You can't finish improving; you can just stop it.

End of the story. Or just a beginning of the new one! :)
I'll keep updated on my progress on IH and my twitter: libinpage. Follow up, and keep on hacking!