If I Knew Then

by High Alpha

With Max Yoder, CEO of Lesson.ly

Lesson.ly CEO, Max Yoder

This article is part of the series “If I Knew Then” by Crain’s.

The Mistake:

I was working on a business called Quipol that never became a business because we never made a dime.

I built Quipol in 2011, the idea behind it was simple, one-question polls that you embed into blog posts. I knew what Quipol needed to do because I worked for a business blogging software company. I knew that bloggers all wanted the same thing: insight, engagement, and reach. I figured there was no better way to get that then a nice poll.

We perfected this application and on launch day I sent out a note to about 350 people who had said they would use it.

Within the first minute of the application being out someone had signed up and sent me a note like, “Why doesn’t it do this?” For the rest of the year the business only went down in a negative way.

I launched way too late and I launched without any user feedback. Had I launched Quipol earlier, had I not tried to perfect everything in a vacuum, that person’s suggestion probably would have bubbled up more quickly.

If you launch when it is perfect, you’ve launched way too late.

The Lesson:

Share before you’re ready — your business model and your product design. Get things in front of people because you don’t have a clue. The idea is to get to your vision way before you have over-engineered something in a vacuum.

That has been such a defining point in building a business. If you launch when it is perfect, you’ve launched way too late. Nothing is ever going to be perfect and if you are looking for perfect it is going to take you way too long. Good enough is good enough. Get out there.

Follow Max Yoder or Lesson.ly on Twitter at @MaxYoder and @Lessonly.

This article originally appeared in Crain’s Indianapolis by Robert Elder.