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Why we launched earlier than what felt comfortable

It’s been 10 days since we launched - our open-source application platform for Kubernetes, and in all honesty, we had our worries about making our repository public for everyone. Suddenly it was about to get very real.

Why the worry? We still had a lot of features and developer workflows we wanted to improve but had limited knowledge on what to prioritize and what to push back.

The benefits of launching early and building in public, therefore quickly became very clear to us; show the world what we are building and get ongoing feedback from the community on if we actually address one of their problems, and if our solution is the right one.

In this post, we have gathered some reflections and our initial learnings from launching early and building in public.

Required reflection

First thing’s first. We had to be no less than excellent at explaining our solution. What was our vision? What key problems were we trying to solve for our users?

By taking a step back and diving into these questions as a team we got a great boost in alignment on what path to take so we could build a platform that truly solved the needs of our users.

Shortened feedback-cycle

One of the most important factors in our early launch was the community. Getting early (and sometimes ruthless) feedback on everything from our problem statement and wording on our website to features and documentation were absolutely essential for us in terms of refining our solution.

And oh boy did we get feedback! Thanks to our community we now have a lot of insights into how our platform and solution is perceived, helping us improve communication over the next couple of weeks.

Internal motivation

After releasing, it suddenly was clear to us that there in fact was a high level of interest in what we were working on, and that motivated us to keep pushing forward to deliver the best possible solution for our users and ourselves.

So even though building in public can be frightening - and sometimes even demotivating due to the overwhelming amount of honest feedback - we stayed relentlessly motivated.

Public Accountability

We also discovered, that the public accountability that comes along with building in public can be a strong force. We now have a community of developers waiting for new updates and releases, as well as companies waiting for us to come back with an updated version based on their feedback.

This motivates us to continuously improve our platform and keep moving, while constantly driving ourselves to be agile in our development process.

Wrap up

Overall, we hope that this has given insight into our reasoning for launching early and building in public. Until now it has been a powerful approach for us, and we're excited to see where it takes us next as we continue to grow.

Building in public requires a well-balanced mix of engaging with the community as well as making sure we stay on course. But as our community continues to grow, we will always prioritize engaging and making sure community members feel part of the development.

We are excited and grateful by the support we have received so far. While we're still in the building phase, we would love it, if you'd consider starring us on GitHub 🌟:

Also, we're actively seeking feedback, bug reports, and feature requests in our Slack Community – so please join us here!

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