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Apologies if this is the wrong exchange forum, it felt most appropriate to ask this here.

TL;DR What are the pros/cons of a (mobile) app (in the social media space) being launched on-time with an average look and feel versus being delayed (e.g. a month) to look very attractive and be pleasing to use?

Context to the question: I am taking over an application developed over the past 1.5 years. I recreated it in the past 2 months and am close to having a minimum-viable product ready. The project owner/primary stakeholder is interested in launching ASAP to get into the social media space.

The primary stakeholder is please with the design. I feel it is pretty average but it does the job. I am strongly considering entering into discussions to delay for a redesign with the aim of making the app beautiful rather than functional per se.

Regarding cost for a delayed launch: financially not a big deal but competitors are starting to pop up which will hurt business in the future i.e. future costs.

Question: What are the pros/cons, regarding 'early launch and fix everything in version 2' or 'get it right the first time round'?

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Launch the MVP, if it does the job

Welcome to pm.stackexchange!

You would have made many assumptions about what the users need and how they will use your product. These assumptions need to be validated by letting early customers use it. Based on the feedback you gather from them, you may have to make drastic changes to the app. When you do that, all the 'very attractive and pleasing' UI may have to be thrown away and redone.

So, don't waste time making it pretty. Get it in the hands of the early adopters as quickly as possible.

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Completely(!) Disagree!

"Whatever else you do, make the Lady look Beautiful."

I'm the customer. I had no idea that your product was even available for me to buy(!!)(!!)(!!) until this very moment. Within the space of the following two minutes, one of two things is going to happen:

  • I'm gonna luv it, and I'm gonna tell all of my "friends."
  • I'm gonna say that it's half-baked and it sux ... and I'm gonna tell all of my "friends!"
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An always-true answer on either of these two alternatives does not--or should not--exist. This is a benefit / cost and risk decision that should be carefully and thoughtfully examined. Then, whichever answer you choose, the costs and risks of that answer need to be mitigated to the degree possible.

You launch too early, you run the risks of having your customers being underwhelmed, disappointed, and / or annoyed and having them run to your competitors. You launch too late, you run the risk of lost revenue, catching up to your competitors, lost investors, making the product so pretty where you added no real value to the costs you spent, etc. And there are a lot of points in between. THIS is why there is no standard answer to this question except for: DECISION ANALYSIS.

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