I’m going to be working on a new project soon—a web app for a far more “public” audience than I am used to. Note to self: Don’t be afraid to fail. In fact, embrace failure and learn something from it. Brian recently had a great post called Failure Isn’t an Option; It’s a Mandatory. Great stuff.
A key part of the launch early, iterate often approach to product development is being agile and empathetic enough to recognize errors and make the necessary adjustments. Sometimes it’s an interface issue. Sometimes it’s the way we’re telling the story. Sometimes it’s the number of features we offer. The way we structure the product tiers. Sometimes we just get the user behavior wrong, and we have to adjust. No points off for not guessing 100% right the first time, but serious problems happen if you can’t retool in time. How much time you have depends on your users and your competition.