Two weeks ago, I had reached a point where 80% of my MVP was complete. It was Easter Break in Europe so I took a week off to spend time with my family.
When I got back to work I got side-tracked
. For context, in a previous episode
, I shared how I usually plan my MVPs and how I use mind-mapping to: 1) list all the features that could make my product great, and then 2) set my focus on the features that will make it to the MVP.
I made a mistake at this stage and it trickled down into a cascade of unplanned things I decided to work on just because it sort of fitted into what I needed to build as per my priority planning BUT mostly because I thought it would be super cool to build. It turned out to be way overkill for an MVP and it set me back by a few days.
The planned feature I wanted to build was a way for users to add stickers to their thumbnails in my YouTube Thumbnail Maker. The fatal mistake I made was to not think about this thoroughly enough when I did my initial planning. As a result, when I started designing the UI for it… my brain came up with tons of “What ifs”:
- What if it could generate stickers out of photos
- What if it could remove background from photos
- What if it could outline stickers to make thumbnails pop
- What if it could save these custom stickers in a gallery for later reuse
I wasn’t thinking MVP anymore… I was back in my ‘brainstorming’ mode. That’s never good when you’re trying to bring a product to completion. I didn’t realise what was going on until too late. I had entered a rabbit hole full of problems to solve to make this happen: reading blog posts, starting prototypes, finding ways to improve the usability of my prototypes etc…
Two days later, without really realising it, Xcode was fired up, with a new test project and things were taking shape… but my MVP hadn’t progressed at all. The sticker feature was still far from being completed (and it still is as I’m writing this). I got myself side-tracked, pretty good!
It felt wrong, but my gut-feeling was telling me that there was a way to exit this situation with a win-win.
I felt stressed and guilty to spend so much time on a pet-project while I was already trying to build a quick MVP before going back to work on my main apps. I was actually feeling it physically: poor sleep, constantly agitated, difficulty to focus on personal projects etc. But I was so deep into it that I would be stupid to just park this project so close to the end. Big thanks to my fiancée to bear with me when I have these phases.