What did you learn the hard way?

Worse is better#

To put it a bit more optimistically—usable now is better than perfect later.

I have found that, if I disappear behind a curtain and spend a long time trying to make something really well-polished and feature rich, that just gives the user a lot of time to build up their expectations, and also to get frustrated by the delay.

By the time you ship, they will be actively looking for ways to find fault. When I YAGNI my way into a 80% or 90% solution and turn it around quickly, though, more often than not, they will initially just be impressed at how quickly I was able to help them. Requests for changes will come, but they are generally small, so it’s usually relatively easy to turn those around quickly as well.

Why business fail#

Why did your business fail and what did you learn?

  1. Family run business
  • Lesson 1 is, never use your cultural beliefs in business. Stick to contracts.
  • Lesson 2 is, don’t just trust family.
  1. I chased and successfully won a huge customer for my small and fledgling startup. I chased and successfully won a sole service contract for a key part of their business process. I allowed a credit situation with them to grow over the course of 3 months while I allowed them to have 60 day terms. And then, they went out of business and left me holding the bag with $100k in unpaid AR after I spent $90k generating that AR with them.
  • The lesson is never trust the size of a company as sufficient reasoning that they can and will pay their bills.
  1. Big-corp CEOs don’t make for good startup CEOs 99% of the time.