Today is the day that Apple has opened preorders for the Apple Watch. There’s a lot of conversation about this new product, but we must all remember that it’s the very first version of this brand new product. It’s not just the first version, but the first version of a brand new product category for the company. This all adds up to a v1 product that has a lot stacked up against it for being all that great.
Version 1 products are best when they are released as an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Basically, figure out what the minimum features/functionality the product needs and release. This not only helps pay for future development and recuperate R&D investment, but also keeps you from releasing a bloated product with features no one wants.
By releasing early (in true Agile / Lean fashion) you can afford the opportunity to tweak and refine that product so that a future version/release/update is that “great” product everyone wants. This is especially true for technology products, like the Apple Watch, that can easily be updated with a software patch.
All of this is true of any brand new product. From the Windows Store added in Windows 8, to the original iPhone in 2007, to the first version of the Intel Atom CPU, to the Apple Watch, to EVERYTHING!
However much of an exciting product the Apple Watch is, it’s not Insanely Great. Period. Even though Apple wont admit it, this is by design. Once it’s released, they will listen to the customers, to the market, to tell them how to make it Insanely Great.