Most of your projects will be crappy. You just have to accept it so you can improve it incrementally. I am learning this first hand as I started mine a few month ago. I went on and checked the competition and was dissatisfied with theie services (note that this is what everyone say about their competitors). So I built a tool that provide the exact same result, but for a much lower price. I got a few sign-ups and then it became a ghost town. How did it happen? Well my theory is I built something just for myself.
Having a service that works in testing environment is not so hard. When you ship it, the real work start. If you don't have a good error handling in place to notify you every time something goes wrong you are missing out. For example: I tried using my payment system only on test mode and was satisfied. Turns out I had an error occurring in live mode, it silently failed and neither the user nor I were notified of the error. How many customers I lost because of this, I will never know.
Analytics data is useless if you don't take action on it. The main reason i was using it was just to check page views and it is easy to lose sight when you are just focusing on the numbers. I was just excited to see large numbers on some page and viewed it as a success without making any connection with the number of sign-ups I was getting. When I did realize that sign-ups were not increasing anymore I quickly got bored of looking at my analytics. I actually introduced a bug the removed my tracking code from my pages by mistakes, so I have a good 20 days of blackout. Thank God for Apache logs though.
Another thing is, I designed this website so I know exactly where everything is. You wanna add a new website? Easy:
- Just click on My Account
- go to My Websites
- click on Add website
- enter the URL
- click Add
- add the code on your page to confirm it is your website
- and click on the Validate button.
Now this is sounds easy, but I had a friend test it and she struggled to find My Account. At some point, she asked, "what are we trying to accomplish here?"
These are just a few of the issues I am discovering everyday. On my launch day I was very excited. I thoroughly tested every feature and it worked just fine. I thought I beat the odds and created a good software from the start. But my software sucks so much it's not even funny.
I am not just complaining about all this. The main reason I am talking about it is because everything may suck at the beginning, you just have to learn from it, and keep jabbing, and jabbing until you suck less. Since I can only learn from my own mistakes I just have to keep going. It is not an excuse to give up.
Your projects may fail, but You, my friend, can only fail when you stop trying.