When building new products or services it’s better to share them with potential customers as early as possible. This will help close the feedback loop. Which is precious when a business is in early phase and haven’t burnt too much cash on the new product.
Start ups operating in stealth mode, shrouded in secrecy, developing the product in private, spend years in making it perfect. Then unveiling it to the public. Though that’s very tempting to entrepreneur. This path ruins careers and empties bank accounts.
I have been on the both sides of this game. There is a service which we have built and shared with potential customers very early on. It became successful. And there are a few products which were developed in stealth mode for a long time and they ultimately went no where.
Stealth mode hinders businesses from early learning opportunities and puts them at a huge disadvantage.
MVP (Minimum Viable Product) /Prototype – is early representation of what your offering will look like. It can rough around the edges. But, try to present it to the potential customers early on in the product’s life cycle. The feedback a business gets from early users is priceless and will help shape the whole thing into a better product that people actually want to use. Coming out of stealth mode and finding out that no one really wants to use the product is a very tough situation to spring back from. At this point one has to battle with lots of psychological effects like Sunk Cost Fallacy
Ideas are cheap or like they say dime a dozen. What really counts is the ability to transform that Idea into usable product/service. The journey from idea to taking the first payment from the customer is fraught with peril.
Unless you are working in an industry where there is heavy competition and competitors with deep pockets that can copy your idea over night, it’s a bad idea to develop the product in the dark.