Guest blog by Claire Wilson

‘Lean’ is the buzzword of the last decade, challenging old school thinking that dictates that a successful business must be resource-heavy to achieve sustainable growth, whilst also giving credence to those who want to launch “almost-there” app startups today to achieve market domination tomorrow. Startup culture has well and truly broken the mold of best practice, but is there value in pausing progress to wait for a more comprehensive offering? Let’s look at the pros and cons of a lean startup compared to a perfect one, to see where you may want to pitch yourself.

Pros for a lean app startup

Most entrepreneurs will tell you that their first idea didn’t hit the mark, and often times neither did the second one. Although, by simply bringing these concepts to the market anyway, they were able to gain valuable insight and pivot toward success based on those early findings. Waiting to have everything polished and ready to launch could rob your app startup of opportunity and the chance to capture the market. More capital, professionals and business support can come later when there is interest in your app and evidence that you should continue. What strides could you make if you broke down those preconceptions and started your app startup lean?

Cons for a lean app startup

A lean startup is not going to work for all people, and it might even exclude some business types who need to properly establish themselves to be able to support their app offering. For example, if you are bringing a mental health app to the market, you don’t want to come up short with only a few psychologists at your disposal and half-baked content that hasn’t been perfected over time. You might also find that your app startup is perceived to be too lean for the potential investors you are seeking, and your framework may not inspire enough confidence to reach the next stage of development.

Pros of a perfect app startup

What’s not to love about an app startup that is polished and perfected to a point where the market is asking what they did before they had this app? More time and resources are only going to highlight what is working and what needs to be approached in a different way, and this continuous improvement will translate to a great reception when you eventually launch. Unlike a lean startup, you won’t need to decide where you allocate the funds but can instead invest in every area and get the best people on the job delivering to your fleshed-out scope.

Cons of a perfect app startup

Perfection takes time, and this might take away your edge if another app startup beats you to the launch and captures the entire market share. You are then in a position where you have to not only market your perfect app, but demonstrate why it is the ideal alternative to the first offering that launched. It’s hard to put a value on the opportunity cost and you don’t want to end up with a flawless app that has come late to the party when behaviour change of trends have moved on without you. Launching a perfect app startup is also a luxury that most startups don’t have, and many would argue that you should have at least some user testing or app reviews to signal whether this investment is worth the squeeze.

Hopefully, this analysis has provided more answers than questions, as it’s challenging to assign one strategy to every type of app startup. Access to funds and the right resources can often choose the course to take, so surround yourself with advisors and a reliable support team that you can bounce your launch strategy off.

Claire Wilson has been voted Most Likely to Nap, Claire’s interests lie with pottery and literature with her ultimate passion being low-budget “True Crime” shows. With a background in fashion and advertising, Claire hopes to one day reach her limit in black tee shirts and jeans, connect with her at

Find out about The Coach for Innovators Certified Program, a collaborative, intimate, and deep personalized innovation coaching and learning program, supported by a global group of peers over 8-weeks, starting February 2, 2021. It is a blended learning program that will give you a deep understanding of the language, principles, and applications of a human-centred approach to innovation, within your unique context. Find out more.

Contact us now at to find out how we can partner with you to learn, adapt, and grow your business in the digital age.