When you have an idea, and want to start a company it can also be overwhelming and difficult to know where to start. And the more you care about the idea, the more you want to get it just right. You hold on to it, afraid to let it out into the world until it’s perfect, until it’s ready. But that’s the opposite of what you should do.
Don’t wait until your idea is perfect before releasing it into the world. When I started my company, I was a college sophomore in my dorm room in Greencastle, Indiana. I researched how to start a website, researched web designers, bought the URL and formed my company entity as an LLC. I sold t-shirts with the phrase “No one Ever Slows Her Agenda” to raise money to pay for the website, legal fees and web designer. I also entered a couple of student entrepreneur competitions.
After all that effort I hated the end result. The website did not match the UX experience I envisioned, the aesthetic was too girly and busy. But I still went forward with it for the next few years until I had the funds from my salary to invest in a relaunch. In the meantime, what I didn’t realize is that I was doing it right.
If you wait until you’re ready, you’re never going to get started. People are more forgiving than you realize and love to be brought a a journey, an evolution of a product from imperfect to evolved has more of a loyal following.
Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, is famously quoted as saying, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” And even in the bible there’s a verse that says “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4)
Showing your vulnerabilities and imperfections helps others to relate to you, and putting your idea in the world before it’s perfect allows your consumer to connect better with the story, and evolution of your company.
I launched my product and was then able to utilize the data and feedback from real users, to re-iterate and create a better version. And today I can say that Her Agenda is the first digital journalism and lifestyle platform focused on women who create and women who lead. Our audience has grown with us.