I admit, it’s not easy to be a bootstrap entrepreneur: we want our product to be as perfect as possible, but our resource is so limited we can’t afford to keep spending to make it perfect. We are also unproven, we have never really done it. With so many incubators/angels/mentors/advisors out there, it’s so hard not to simply ask for help.
But the truth is, no one really knows how market/people will react to our products. Take my startup fitwow.com for example, I was honestly a little embarrassed when I launched it (beta) on Aug. 30, 2011. I am no professional designers/developers and I did all that to bring fitwow.com to the world. I was extremely nervous about people’s reaction to it: would it be really hard for people to use? Will people laugh at me for getting a site out there before it’s polished? Would my audience even remotely find it useful? Should I launch it to bay area (where I live) first before rolling out? And what does “roll out” really mean?
37signals people (rework) said that constraints are resource. Is it?
Because of I am bootstrapping and living on my savings and airbnb guest (don’t laugh), I have to get fitwow.com out to the market, I can’t wait, waiting is suicide. I need it proves to me that it will work, or not within a few months. I need a sign.
So I “rolled out” the site, only adding a few cities in bay area, thinking it’s important to “curate” my user base, although I am not exactly sure what that means.
Fitwow.com lets people post their fitness goals and we send their leads to local trainers so they can meet for offline training to achieve those fitness goals.
Our first real post was from west palm beach, a 20 years old college girl who wants “tone up and looks amazing”.
West palm beach, where is it? That was my first question…….It’s in Florida! I thought it was in Southern California.
Then a lady from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania posted a goal to do squad well;
Then a guy from SF (yes my town) wants to spend a lot money on personal training;
Then a girl from Arlington Virginia wants to lose 20 pounds, followed by a friend of hers wanting to lose 15;
Then two girls from Palo Alto want to find trainer to train both of them in their back yard….
List goes on and on.
I have to scramble to add the new cities in the backend to catch up, and find trainers to bid for their projects…
If I didn’t rush fitwow.com out of the door, if I have a lot of venture money, I would have waited to make the product “better” without really knowing what people would do in real world.
So, thanks, 37signals, thanks rework. Constraints are resources. Let’s get your product to the market first before anything, let’s execute it in real world!