At a crossroads-Whether to launch or seek more time/funding for more development


3

I have spent considerable resources on the development of a networking/eCommerce site and have since changed my focus on the core idea for the business to the extent that the website is not 100% what I want it to be for users.

Sorry if I am somewhat vague, but I don't want to speak too much about the actual website. I will say though that I focused more on the eCommerce function during development, and after a lot of thinking, researching and consulting peers feel that the networking aspect of the site is far more important and useful for potential users. I do not know what I should do, try to find more money for design and development, or go live and seek users and try to improve upon the website as I go along. I know there is huge potential for growth and a market for the website, I am just not sure what step to take at this point. Any advice is appreciated.

Regards

Funding Development Design

asked Jul 1 '11 at 10:53
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Ss1225
18 points

1 Answer


4

You will find that once you launch and start watching people and taking feedback that what ever you "think" is the right way won't be a vast amount will be driven by the users with your own vision as a guideline.

My advice is

  • Release early. Get it to a good, basic set of core functionality that looks good and release it.
  • Have the plan. Have a good queue of new things you want to have lined up ready for subsequent releases every few days or weeks. Keep this flexible and fluid IT WILL CHANGE.
  • Enable early engagement. Make it easy for early adopters to engage with the site DON'T force them to sign up as the first thing, you will loose most of them.
    • You can store a GUID in a cookie and track their usage collecting details along the way until they are ready to give you more details.
    • When you ask for more details, do it in a minimal way ... too much too fast and you loose them becuase its either too hard or intrusive. Try using OpenID / Facebook logins makes it easy, people are getting used to them.
  • Get feedback. Enable your users to give you feedback easily and watch what they are doing on the site. There are Saas offereings you can integrate which enable you to do this. (don't ask 1000 questions at once) 1 at a time, build up knowledge over time.
  • React quickly. It is critical in the beginning to be able to react to the users suggestions and pain points.
  • Build engagement. If someone sees their idea appear on a site they will have a higher level of engagement with the site. Possibly have a credits page to go along with it.
  • Don't drive for money. If your model is focused on having lots of people don't make them start paying from day one have them ease into it with a freemium model OR percentage payment on the eCommerce transactions once they occur. See it as more of a by-product of a successful site rather than the focus of the site.
answered Jul 1 '11 at 11:16
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Robin Vessey
8,394 points

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Funding Development Design