Should we develop slowly or develop quickly for a web startup?


Working full time, and working freelance projects, makes me have limited time to develop my web startup. It's been a year, and it's not done yet. Not done means it's not completely usable yet. Sometimes have the eager to seek for funding, yet not sure if I should.

Should one develop the web startup in his own sweet time, not trying to rush things up? I remember Tony Hsieh once said in his book, Delivering Happiness, that we should think twice if we want to lose our cut of the cake. He gave some questions to think about, like is it ok to move slower and not taking funding?

I have the same question, is it ok to move slower than usual since I am a lone ranger, limited skills, and limited time (have already worn out by working till wee hours every day)?


asked Aug 15 '11 at 23:02
593 points
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2 Answers


Every day you delay the release of your product is a day that:

  1. Your competition gets another day to catch up
  2. You get no income from your startup
  3. You get no feedback from users, helping you steer your product towards profitability
  4. Technology shifts, making it hard for you to get something out

You need to make up your mind what it is you want to do. If you are commited to your startup- get something out the door! If income is more important, forget the startup and make some money.

What are you going to do if after another year, your product is still "almost" finished? What will you do when your competetion rolls out a similar product, and you have nothing to compete with?

answered Aug 16 '11 at 07:41
Gary E
12,510 points
  • +1 for getting something out the door. I had a website that took 1.5 years to get out the door because we never felt it was finished. Don't add features. Pick the one thing in your website that provides the most value, finish it, and ship it. – Rafiq Maniar 13 years ago
  • Software is **never** finished. The trick is to recognize when you have something of value to sell, knowing it will never be perfect. – Gary E 13 years ago
  • You're right, "finished" was the wrong word to use, I entirely agree with you. – Rafiq Maniar 13 years ago


Let's look at the situation this way: do you rather go fast and end up with a mediocre product? or do you rather go slow and end up with a state-of-the-art product?

It seems to me that you are stretching yourself too thin. Relax, take it easy, enjoy life. It is too short to be wasted. At the same time, it's all about balance. You need to be engaged in activities that reward you emotionally and financially. Slowly but surely usually does it (unless you have some competitors working on the same ideas of course, which doesn't seem to be your case).

You also mention funding. If you were thinking of venture capital, you will first need to have some sort of well developed product, and probably revenues, before anybody jumps on board with you.

Why don't you set up some realistic deadlines? Say, by the end of the month, I must have done X and Y. And then reward yourself if you meet the deadline. Also, have you thought about finding some partners? Don't try to do everything yourself. You'll get burned. Success is a marathon race, not a sprinting race. As Africans say, if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.

Good luck.

answered Aug 15 '11 at 23:37
A. Garcia
1,601 points
  • If you don't get your product in front of users, it's probably going to be mediocre unless you are very insightful to what people want to pay for. – Jeff O 13 years ago

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