Ship early and often

I gave this short presentation at the PMM Summit last week.

On the concept of “shipping early and often” and how it can be applied to #productmarketing

As PMMs our “products” can range quite a bit from research, positioning, and messaging, to collateral, training, releases — and everything in between.

And it becomes really easy to hold onto projects for too long.


  • Pride
  • Perfectionism
  • Scope creep
  • Fear of criticism
  • Fear of rejection

These are all things that keep us from shipping great work.

Paul Graham, the co-founder of Y Combinator, which has helped fund and mentor over 3000 startups, wrote an essay called “The Hardest lessons for Startups to Learn.”

Here's a quote 👇

“The thing I probably repeat most is this recipe for a startup: get a version 1 out fast, then improve it based on users' reactions… Users hate bugs, but they don't seem to mind a minimal version 1, if there's more coming soon.”

Of course, Paul is referring to actual products, but the same concept can be applied to product marketing — really anything.

For example:

  • Publish that landing page with screenshots → Add the animations later
  • Share that one-pager YOU designed → Update with the “prettier” version later
  • Start with bullets or a single slide → Build a full deck later
  • Post a quick async video today → Run a full enablement session later
  • Share insights as you uncover them (with context) → Update your content later
  • Start with a rough process → Refine it as you go

Shipping can also mean sharing works-in-progress within your company.

David Mack, a Y Combinator graduate and co-founder of SketchDeck, wrote a great article where he talked about “working towards a v0.”

Here’s a quote 👇

“The v0 is the first step on the road to building the full vision … the least amount of work possible to say “Hey, this is what I’m creating. What do you think?””

Find opportunities in your company to share mini demos of the things you’re working on. It could be an all-hands meeting, even a Slack channel.

The benefits?

  • Points you in the right direction early
  • Pools together the combined experience of your team
  • Provides a regular drip of progress
  • Prevents people from doing unnecessary work
  • Provides a forcing function to get stuff moving
  • Makes each day feel successful and exciting 🎉

So, consider this your reminder, call-to-action, or if you need it, permission to ship it 🚢

#productmarketing #marketing #inspiration


PMM Summit - Opening Remarks (2).pdf136.4KB