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Source: Andreessen Horowitz
Published: April 2014

Ship It Before You Are Ready

Circulated: September 17, 2020

A difficult decision in software development is determining when to make a new product or feature available to customers. Launching new functionality is referred to as “shipping it,” originating in the era of floppy disks and CDs shipped in physical boxes.

Leaders have a hard time getting a product out the door. There’s always more to do to get it right. The takeaway: “ship it,” learn from customers, gather data, iterate, and repeat.

An example of a product shipped without full functionality is the original iPhone in 2007. It wasn’t until the iPhone 3GS was released two years later that Apple ‘shipped’ a feature enabling users to Cut, Copy, and Paste.

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