All related (8)
Puja Hait
Product Leader, GoogleAugust 30

It depends on the lifecycle of the product and goals.

  1.  0>1 product: Goal - to find product-market fit. Here its very important to think through your hypotheses, possible outcomes (Prove, Disprove, insufficient signals) and what you would do next - next set of features, V2 of the MVP and so on. Charting this out helps you then answer what you must absolutely answer to get to the next step. Once your product enables you to achieve testing of your hypothesis, ship it! This assumes that product/solution is usable and stable (not overtly buggy etc). Also in general, start with a smaller userbase, tweak and polish before going full bright.
  • Consumer 0>1: IMO, consumers have high expectations and they WILL compare your product with way more mature products. So its more important to pay attention to usability and product excellence (latency, bugginess, low connectivity coverage etc.) for consumer products. Its easier though to experiment relative to consumer products.  
  • Enterprise 0>1: Here offline/hacky support solutions can work initially to help you support operationally without building all the bells and whistles. So focus even more heavily on what problems are worth solving and are the solution ideas resonating. Remember though that for B>B>C, the enterprise might think the solution works, but their users may not think the same. So user research is still no substitute to actual launch data. 

2. 1> 100 product. Goal- growth in engagement userbase, retention, monetization etc. I think its good enough to ship when the solution fixes a known issue or gap even incrementally. Iterate depending on the effort vs impact equation. This fix could help retain some existing users, so it still matters. If its a novel feature, then follow the 0>1 principles in #1.#1.

Laura Oppenheimer
Lead Product Manager, Bubble | Formerly Quizlet, CheggJuly 27

It's never going to be "as ready" as you want it to be. Because we don't work in a vacuum, the product is never built to 100% (I've never worked on anything where we had P2 requirements built into the product on launch day - it doesn't happen). There are three components that come together to ID when a product is ready to be shipped: 

1) Business needs: If you run an ecommerce product, then your product needs to be out for Black Friday and the holiday rush. Similarly if you work in fitness, January 1 is going to be a big day. Aligning on these key dates and deadlines with stakeholders up front is important. At Quizlet, we focus on the Back to School season, which we define as August 1 through mid September. As a result, we'll sometimes know that something needs to be live on a given date — and then we'll work around that business need to scope the project and/or add more resources as needed. 

2) User Jobs to be Done: I wrote in one of my other responses about being obsessed with problems. Once you're sure what the problem is, you can reframe it as a job to be done to focus. For Quizlet and the teacher products I worked on, this was "When I'm teaching my students, I want to keep them engaged and check for understanding, so that I can differentiate my teaching as needed." When you can take your MVP back to users and test it out, and verify that it's serving the job you've defined, you're ready to ship. 

3) Eng readiness: Especially with launching a new product, ensuring that your engineering partners are ready is key. This includes asking questions like "What happens if we're wildly successfully and this product is used by XX people overnight" and "Can we test our logging to make sure these key actions are being logged" etc. Moving from MVP/beta to a GA launch means knowng that your product can scale up as it gains traction and that you'll be able to measure and evaluate its success!

Deepti Srivastava
Head of Product, VP, December 12

For early stage products, a feature or solution is usually ready to ship when it meets the functionality for the main user journey(s) i.e. "golden paths" defined in your PRD or user journey maps, and passes the predefined usability bar from a QA perspective – user can complete the common tasks within expected reliability and performance metrics, all expectation cases may not have been hardened yet. 

In basic terms, a user should be able to use the solution to complete the predefined task in a reasonable manner, and be able to provide feedback that can be used to enhance the product.

For example, if the product keeps crashing in the middle of the user task journey, then that leads to a bad user experience such that the user can’t really provide effective functionality feedback for you to evolve the product, and they may never adopt the product at all.