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Just Tell Me When It's Live

January 14, 2024

I’ve seen too many products tease great animations, logos, “coming soon” landing pages, waiting lists, micro-interactions, etc. only to shut down before launch, be delayed years, or vanish entirely without explanation. I hate this feeling. The excitement for vaporware is bad for the creator(s) and the consumers.

In response to this, I’m not publishing a single blog post, screen shot, teaser video, or public mention of Preview SMS until it’s live. All of this work will be shown when there is a product to actually use.

I get why people like to “build in public” and perhaps on future products I’ll do just that. But teasing things that only might arrive at some point in the future is a great way to disappoint people if you don’t end up launching that product.

To me, “building in public” is only useful if the creator(s) is sharing progress in the effort to reveal what it’s like to build a product, and to also be held accountable by potential customers. There should be a clear path towards launch, even if it means trimming features they were excited to tweet about.

I also find great value in continual improvement of a product. Showing a feature you’ve just added is a fantastic way to show users that you actually care about making the product better. These are the types of updates I will be sharing in near real-time. Brian Lovin does a great job of showing the progress of Campsite and the new features he and his team are launching at a consistent pace.

Just launch it.

If it’s great, tell people that it’s great. If it’s not ready to launch, that’s okay. You can build something without the public knowing. I promise. I’m doing it now. While I’m excited to tell people about Preview SMS and all of the great little details I’ve put into it, I’ll be excited to tell them these things when it launches.

By the time you’re reading this, you can already use Preview SMS. Maybe you like it. Maybe you love it. Maybe it’s dumb and you don’t find any value in it. These opinions are all valid in their own way.

One thing you’ll never be able to say about Preview SMS - you had to wait to get to use it after hearing about it for months/years.

It's live. Check out Preview SMS.

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