Taking the lead from Google and Slide.com, we decided to push the website live before all the bugs have been worked out. Here was the debate:
1) Get early feedback about the idea, layout, content, and functionality.
2) Test functionality, servers, and load speed in a live environment.
3) Keep momentum external and internal. Clients, users, competitors, and investors want to see something, even if it is not perfect, and our developers, sales, and team need to know we making progress.
1) Bloggers like Scoble may write that he really loves our website and let the world know, just like these two articles titled, Startups: your web site sucks and I reward innovation with positive reinforcement and support.
2) Competition may copy our idea and funtionality and launch in the cities we have not reached yet (Though this will happen regardless).
3) Press, customers, clients, and investors may not be able to see through the small bugs and view the idea as faulty, and not just the functionality.
Most people say you only get one chance at a launch, but I disagree. With a value-added service that is sustainable, we will have plenty of opportunity to help renters. Our model, product, client-base, and users will change a thousand times before we finalize our vision and product, so it is important to get that feedback early and often.
So I know the site has bugs, but we need feedback, thoughts, opinions, advice, and even the rare “hey, I like it”. Here is our new slogan, RentWiki.com – building what our users want, but you have to tell us first.