Wimps Wait. Revolutionaries Release Early.

By Dharmesh Shah on November 18, 2008

If you are not a believer in “Release Early, Release Often” you can safely stop reading now.  No sense in clouding your passionately held opinions with my passionately held, and ill-defended opinions.  My best wishes to you.

On the other hand, if you’re as passionate about the power of the “Release Early” model  as I am, then this article is just for you. 

If one of these tickles your fancy, please feel free to share it.  Lets improve the world, one waiter at a time.  [waiter, as in “one who waits”.  Oh wait, those kinds of waiters wait too.  Screw it, you know what I mean].


14 Sound Bites And Insights On Releasing Early

1.  Wimps wait.  Revolutionaries release early.

Suggested reading:  “Rules for Revolutionaries” by Guy Kawasaki.  Guy’s my hero. 

2.  Failing to scale is excusable.  Failing to release is not.

3.  Don’t hug your software too hard.  If you love it, set it free.

4.  You will more often regret when you were reluctant than when you released.

5.  At the end of the day…just ship it!

6.  You don’t get a first chance to make a second impression.

I realize the above statement makes no logical sense.  But, the argument against releasing early is often “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” and I wanted to twist it into something clever for my purposes.  I failed.  No worries.  This one’s on the house.

6.  It’s better to release early, and irritate some users than not release, and not have users at all.

7.  If it helps you release earlier, know that my software sucks more than yours. 

8.  Ship it now.  Why wait until tomorrow to learn what you can today?

9.  There are always 10 pretty good reasons not to release.  But, they’re not that good — so just release.

10.  Software in the wild always trumps software in waiting.

11.  You’re overestimating the degree to which people give a flying flip.  Get over yourself and just freakin’ ship it already.

12.  To succeed, you need to be remarkable.  To be remarkable, you actually have to release something.

Suggested reading:  Seth Godin’s blog.  Seth’s my hero.

13.  Better to release early and be ridiculed than just ridiculed.

14.  No heroes and legends are created by software that almost shipped.


That’s about the best I can do.  I have a feeling you can do better.  Post your best pithy insight on the awesomeness of “releasing early” in the comments.

Topics: agile
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Startup Salary Data from Private Company Compensation Survey

By Dharmesh Shah on November 14, 2008

It has been a while since I’ve written an article about startup compensation (what do founders, CEOs and others make)?  My previous article about startup founder compensation continues to be popular, despite having been written in 2006.salary compensation data

The data in this article is taken from compstudy.com which publishes a report titled “2008 Compensation & Entrepreneurship Report in IT”.  The report is based on a compensation survey.  This year’s report is based on 342 survey respondents representing 1,600 executives.  Note:  I am not affiliated with CompStudy.  I received the report for free, and I do not know what they charge for it.

Here are some points from the report that I found interesting. 

1.  This year’s survey was conducted between April and June 2008.

2.  31% of the executive population this year were founders in their companies (up from 28% in the prior year).

3.  CTOs and CEOs were the most frequent founders.

4.  Average base salary across all positions increased by 4.7% from 2007 to 2008. 

5.  On average, non-founding CEOs received a 5.4% grant.

6.  Outside of the CEO/President the non-founder Head of Technology holds the highest average equity percentage at 1.53%.

7.  Just 33% of the companies in the latest financing stages still have the founding CEO.

8.  For companies raising one or fewer rounds, the average founding CEO holds nearly one third of the equity.  After two rounds, this reduces to an average of 18%.

9.  Founding CTOs have 17.1% on average in companies with one or fewer financing rounds and 7.49% of companies with 2–3 financing rounds.

10.  CEO average base salary went from $227,000 to $237,000.

11.  Non-founder CEOs have greater total compensation ($339,000) than founding CEOs ($286,000).

12.  Founding CEOs hold an average of 22.05% of the company vs. non-founding CEOs which hold just 5.46%.

13.  The chairperson is the CEO of the company 56% of the time.

14.  Investors comprise more than half othe board of directors seats.  Outside board members comprise about 20% of the board.

So, what are your reactions to some of these data points?  What were you most surprised by? You can leave a comment here or discuss in the OnStartups community on LinkedIn (now with 30,000+ members).

Topics: compensation
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