Scope projects down

At the early stages, it's especially important to scope projects. Design projects so that they can be completed in 1–3 weeks with a team of 1–3 people. Smaller fixes or additions should take only hours or a day.

Shorter projects force you to prioritize the most important feature set. They also get you into the habit of shipping continuously, which creates quick feedback loops with customers. Smaller teams help you move faster and reduce the management and communcation overhead. When you’re early in the product building stage, you don’t know enough to predict whether a project will be impactful or not so it’s better to avoid massive projects. If there is no way to scope down the project, then break it down into stages.

For example, we shipped the first versions of Cycles and Projects in the first couple of months of starting Linear. The MVP version of both of these features took us about two weeks to design and build. We shipped the early versions to ourselves and private beta users in the first week and started collecting user feedback immediately and fixing them in the following weeks. We’ve made a lot of improvements to Cycles and Projects since and both of them are now the major features of the product.