When we tell people we’re building 4 products simultaneously, none of which are close to being finished, the immediate assumption is that we’re trying to throw products against the wall to see what sticks.
This isn’t the case.
It is unlikely that we will ever shut down any of our products.
We’re simply trying to figure out what the right formula is for making each product stick. And we don’t want the products to be too heavy and bloated until we’ve found that perfect minimum product that does stick.
We believe in the story and the value of each product. Getting it to stick and grow and achieve the critical mass necessary to make the product truly valuable is a different story, though. That is why we are focusing on the fundamentals of each product, the minimum viable feature set, to make sure we’ve got that right before expanding on it.
Already with TheMatchingGame.com we went too far and are considering doing either a massive re-factoring or possibly even completely rebuilding it to simplify it down to that minimum set of features that are the foundation for the overall experience. As it is, all of the features we built that we thought we needed are making it harder for us to push forward now that we have better perspective on what is important.
Of course if we try for years and can’t get something to stick we may think about shutting it down, but we’ve been careful to choose products that require minimum maintenance and can run cheaply, so we can simply let a product run. This allows us to both to think about the product (maybe a brilliant idea comes to us in 6 months about how to make it click) or simply give it a longer time to hit the necessary inflection point where the size of the community makes the product valuable enough to stick.