Entrepreneur’s Last-mile Problem

Day 17 of #30DaysOfStartingUp

When we are making products, the feeling of progress is often deceiving: when you feel 95% done, you might be halfway through the journey. The seemingly small last leg of the project requires a slower pace and more attention to detail. What looks like 5% of the work would likely take 50% of the time. 

Last week, I shared a growth hack idea and the start of the execution in Day 13th’s newsletter A Day in the Life of a Growth Hacker. It was a quick and fun exploration. I spent the following day developing it. The remaining work is adding it into three sites that I owned. I estimated it to be a trivial part of the following day’s work, but it turned out to be false.

There are two types of people: starter and finisher. Starters live for the creative beginning of projects; finishers enjoy accomplishing the day-to-day work and following through. I am a starter type. My first hurdle of crossing the finishing line is procrastination. I hate to get into the nitty-gritty of the fit and finish work. I am more tempted to start a new project in the meantime.

Today I finally get into the work I was procrastinating on. I realize there are a lot of details to attend to, even for a small growth hack project.

The first thing is to make the promotion modal responsive, something I omitted initially:

I added it to the first candidate site: cssicon.space. CSS Icon is the sample site I used to create the template, so everything naturally fits together :

When adding it to Font Playground, I needed to customize the font to fit in with the rest of the app:

With Type Detail, it needs further customization on title font and colors:

As much as I tried to architect the code in anticipation of these customizations, a few surprises showed up here and there and took a few more rounds to finalize! This is only a simple pop-up modal; the last-mile problem will only be more significant for a full product!

Today’s lesson: be prepared for the last-mile problem when making a product. The last leg of the journey can be the slowest and most expensive. Leave enough time and space to grind on the fit and finish.