Back when I was in high school learning how to code, I would spend countless hours working on my school’s computer lab on some new way to push my coding skills.
I would type furiously working through the bugs and wondering why things didn’t work. I checked books and other materials, but most certainly I would spend hours upon hours trying to fix something within my code that wasn’t working.
Now that I code for a living, I look back at that young Alex and think: “Man, it would have been so much easier if I had shown my work to a teacher.”
You see the problem wasn’t that I was making mistakes, the problem was that I was trying to perfect something by myself, without sharing it to the world.
It’s incredibly easy to work long hours in those things that you love. You can hide from the distractions of the outside world. And yes, being able to focus is one of the most important skills anyone can develop.
But, never sharing your work with the world is one of the most significant issues I see with new entrepreneurs and business owners.
Let’s imagine a starting entrepreneur. She has a brilliant idea for a product and decides to start working on it immediately, diligently trying to make it perfect, so her first customer loves it.
She pours months of work on her new product, always trying to make it better without telling anyone. When she finally launches the product, nobody comes, there is nobody there to love her perfect product.
In her vision, everything should have worked. She should be having a ton of sales right now, but now she feels defeated. Nobody wanted what she built.
Now, let’s take another example, one that I love to mention whenever someone is working like our entrepreneur above.
Indie game developers, you know those small studios that only have a handful of people and one great idea for a new game, usually launch their games in alpha state.
It’s not because they are not capable of creating a full game without bugs. It’s because they want feedback from the gaming community.
They are honest with their fans about the state of the game and continuously try to listen to them and fix whatever bugs their customers have found. Each time, releasing a new version of the game that is more polished and ready for the big day.
Now it may seem to you that they are doing things wrong, but in fact, the developers who launch those kinds of games are usually those who enjoy a great deal of success.
Take for example the case of Tynan Sylvester, creator of a little game called Rimworld. It all started on October 2013 with a Kickstarter campaign. He hoped to have 1000 backers for his game idea.
He had created a small video with footage from the game, clearly labeled as pre-alpha and detailed his roadmap for the game.
People were incredibly excited about the game, there was absolutely nothing to play at the moment but gamers supported his idea, and the project was fully funded within 48 hours.
Tynan continued to work on the game, sharing new versions of the game still in alpha, learning from what the community wanted and implemented new features.
Fast forward to January of 2018, he announced that he had sold over a million copies of the game, and it’s still not finished. Version 1.0 is still in the works at the time of writing this article.
Tynan is not the only success story within the gaming community, there are other game developers that have done the same. I think you should learn from their example and apply this mindset to any product you decide to create.
It’s better to show your work and put it out there. Ship it even if it has flaws, as long as you are honest with your audience, nobody should be offended by what you are doing, especially if you show them that you can improve your product and make it a better for them.
You will see that even if you don’t sell as much as Tynan, your product will be better for it and you will get the feedback you need to improve on it and attract a bigger audience.
And who knows, maybe next time I will be writing an article about your product and how you could take it from a small idea into a full-fledged business.