Ship, measure, learn, adjust, ship…
You are not done planning when you launch your product (or service). That is just the first launch of a repeating cycle of learning, updating, and re-launching the product.
How often will I update my product?
The key is to find a way to follow this pattern as often as can be reasonably managed, ideally in a periodic “cadence.” For successful web-based services, a typical cadence follows a weekly rhythm. Each and every week, the product is updated. Each and every day, the usage of the website is measured, looking at day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month trends. Each week, new features are added (or subtracted) and designs are changed. Each week, multiple experiments are run across 1% or 10% or 50% of the customers.
What did I learn today?
You likely see this in your own use of the web and mobile applications. Over the course of a year, your favorite websites are noticeably changed in small increments every month or two. If you have a smartphone, you are likely barraged by application updates on almost a daily basis. And similarly on your PC, where Firefox, Chrome, iTunes, Skype, and other applications ask you to update to the latest version about every six weeks, if not more often.
What am I measuring? What should I be measuring?
For non-web-based or non-app-based services, you still must measure your processes. How many new sales leads came in today? What percentage of sales leads are viable candidates? What percentage of candidates buys the product? On average, how many phone calls and email messages occur before making a sale? What is the average weekly/monthly/quarterly sales price?
Measure everything you want to optimize, and keep asking questions about how you can improve.
Lean Startup by Eric Reis