If you show a gun, fire it
I tend to be the super-excited founder who will talk and suggest doing things that would likely be years ahead of the current circumstances. My co-founder, and business partner for the last 8+ years, is the one who will help me glide down to earth, all the way to the very first principle.
A few days back, we were discussing the features of our new product for our Startup, Valinor Earth.
I was eager and was planning to demo some of the tools which were not ready. My co-founder insists that we are not prepared and would set off expectations that we may not be able to satisfy for a while. We might end up building a fancy tool without actually solving the customer’s problem.
As a normal human being, our customer will praise the tools and say good things – which, btw, is the least useful data for us to evaluate anything.
If you are going to show a gun, be ready to fire it. If we are showing the tools, then that tool should be made useful soon enough, if not immediately.
Chekhov’s gun is a dramatic principle stating that every element in a story must be necessary, and unnecessary details removed. A feature should not appear to make “false promises” by never coming into play.
If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, it absolutely must go off in the second or third chapter. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.
One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.
If you are going to show a tool or do a demo, be ready to use it and make sure it is relevant to the customer’s needs.