John MacAdam

The Importance of Shipping

Oct 11, 2018

When I first learned to develop mobile apps, I was addicted to shipping. Shipping as in, releasing a product into the wild. Putting it out for others to see. I released personal apps from home. I released enterprise apps at work. I was constantly shipping products. This practice taught me a few valuable lessons.

Shipping helps overcome fear

Practice it enough times and it becomes easier. The fear has never gone away for me. I still often have a moment of doubt. "This isn't perfect yet." "Somebody else would make this better." However, these thoughts are less intimidating each time.

Shipping provides valuable feedback

There are many assumptions during product development. Especially assumptions about the potential users of the product. Often times you, as the creator, are the only person using the product during development. Shipping the product allows others to try it. From their perspective. Their feedback is valuable for further product development.

Shipping makes it real

Once a product is public, there are a slew of other things to consider. Pricing. Marketing. Customer Support. Analytics. You soon realize that making the product is only the beginning. The business side of the product is as important as the creative side. Especially if you want to reach more people.

Shipping creates opportunity

You don't know what you don't know. Once the product is released, other opportunities arise. One of my Chrome Web Apps was featured in the Chrome web store. Entrepreneurs have made proposals to buy some of my products. Even my least successful app led to my biggest client. None of these opportunities would exist if I had avoided shipping.