Launch your idea early

Earlier last week I launched TrailStatus.io.  I have big plans for the website.  My thoughts are to grow it to help trail curators manage news for the trails in a central location.  I have been wanting to launch TrailStatus for about two or three months now but I didn’t.

I didn’t for the same reason that customer projects or work projects linger on, scope creep.  How do can you overcome scope creep? Here are a few tips to help you launch the app early.

Stick to the essentials

Stop worrying about what your app is going to be.  It is currently a fleeting thought in your brain, get coding on the essentials that you need to make it run.  In TrailStatus’s case, this was downloading and parsing out the John Muir trail information.

Focus on what you can do within a short period of time.  Short meaning one week or less.

Get feedback often

I originally had grand plans before even starting to code TrailStatus.  I asked for feedback on the Mt. Biking subreddit and received a lot of good feedback that helped me see more future feature implementations.  If I didn’t ask for feedback I could have very well implemented a feature not needed or not used.

Write, refine, reuse your code

Don’t focus on writing the perfect code the first go.  Write the code so it is clean and concise.  After the initial release you can focus on refining your code while keeping in mind the DRY principle.  I was trying to think too far out of scope with TrailStatus.  I know that I will need to have services in the future pulling down trail information, but do I need to program it now? No.

The parting words here have been echoed before: release early, release often.