Dan Rowden

I launched my MVP without the features I advertised. And it was fine.

I launched my MVP without the features I advertised. And it was fine.

Launch early, build out features later.

This post was first published on Indie Hackers.

Recently, I built and launched a new commenting tool for the Ghost platform.

On launch day, I had three paid plans laid out, but only a fraction of the features advertised were actually available.

I was 100% comfortable doing this, even though it seems a bit counterintuitive.

Normally, you should really only be selling features that exist. But this early, a) I was confident I could add most of the features within a few weeks, b) I wouldn't have a lot of users, and c) no-one would care if some features weren't quite ready.

It was far more important to launch and be able to show potential users what Cove does and the solution it offers. If some parts of the service weren't ready, that shouldn't stop me telling people about it.

Some things to think about when launching a product with paid plans

  • At this early stage, the product is brand new and your plans (both strategy and your subscription offerings!) can and will easily change.
  • Don't get bogged down with what features each plan has. You can easily move things around (I did).
  • Definitely launch with some defined plans.
  • Use the opportunity of having plans to show the value your product has. A simple list of features tied to a monetary value is powerful.
  • Categorising features into different tiers shows a weighted value ("feature A is great, but feature B will be a lot more useful because I need to pay X more for it"). Take advantage of this.
  • Anyone who signs up early may not expect to use features in higher plans, so do those last.
  • Utilise a free trial to give yourself some wiggle room (if they're not paying, they don't need your paid features yet)
  • Launch with some sort of billing system in place. If someone does want to pay you, you must let them! 😊 I made sure users could view and sign up to plans in the app before Cove launched.

The point of this post is to tell you it doesn't matter what you launch with. Focus on getting your product out there and flesh it out later.

Creating pricing plans and the features they contain is very helpful as you start on a product, but not everything has to be ready for launch.

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