I recently discovered a funny thing called Parkinson's Law. It says that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. If you give a conservative deadline, we will make sure we have enough work till the deadline is over. It is applicable for an aggressive deadline too. We are quite funny in that way.
I realised that in a recent project at work in a vivid manner. We released a beta version of our product. The beta was released a few weeks ago. A customer was impressed by the beta of our product. This customer is a huge enterprise company. We were very confident about the architecture and scalability of our product. Because right from day one, our engineering team had this kind of customers in mind. The product was engineered and designed with scalability in mind. But we had not released the product yet.
We always have this dilemma as a product team. Should we release the product and let the customer use the beta version immediately? Or should we quash those pesky bugs and polish the rough edges. We all knew that we could not keep on shining the product. We also knew, when the rubber hits the road, that is when the customers start using it, we will start discovering the unknown-unknowns.
And that is what exactly happened when this big enterprise company started to use our product. They signed up knowing it is a product in beta and were quite patient in giving feedback. Many things that we never thought will be a problem started to breakdown. Luckily, we expected, and our team were in stand by mode to get it fixed quickly.
But it was such an intense and rewarding experience. The stress was quite fun. The customer was very patient, but we knew how precious their time was. So the accountability was always there for us. We need to know we have to get things done. But we had our high moments when our product/fixes got the job done for our customers. The feedback loop kicked in and made our product much robust.