Why Ugly First Versions Can Lead to Your Success

I recently read an article on about the launching of ‘ugly’ first versions and our hesitation to let go of our products and ‘just launch’ without absolute perfection.

This article had an interesting take our obsession with launching the perfect product, despite our need to meet strict deadlines. We know that failed ventures have a million regrets, mostly about their UX and poor first versions, but this article sums up our difficulty with striking a compromise. You have to launch something, and you have to start somewhere. Even the best and brightest have had their ugly days.

To demonstrate this, the article showcased rather hilarious “then and now” products.


Included in this showcase are Apple products (hello weird beige clunky early apple designs) next to their sleek updated versions with high definition graphics and glorious slim designs.

Cell phones also make an appearance.

Remember when you could get a flip phone where the “flip” was just a hunk of plastic that unveiled a large keypad and stood a good chance of snapping off in a strong wind? I do! There are also enormous portable phones with chunky headsets and antennae next to a new sleek Motorola.

Oh and do you remember when window air conditioning units meant only enormous window units that may have kept you cool but also ran so loudly you needed ear plugs? Next to the sleek finished units we have today, the early versions just look incredible.

Even planes and cars are featured in their early models next to sleeker finished modern day design. The point of this article is to point out that everyone started somewhere and that despite their appearance, the products functioned. They gave us a standard and with every new design, challenged themselves and their customers to expect better.


Now this article does an exceptional job of pointing out that first versions of products weren’t always beautiful. However, you’re not dealing with a 1950s TV or 1980s computer.

In this industry the bar has been set by some of the industry’s best.

Luckily, there are some ways that you can benefit from industry improvements. A good platform enhances the appearance of your product. With WalkMe, for example, your first version doesn’t have to be ugly at all. WalkMe provides the option to customize the guidance design to enhance the appearance and usability of your site.


The article points out the importance of compromising. You need to start somewhere. Your site can be functional and user friendly but not the most exquisite it will ever be. It will get there. Don’t get stuck on perfection, and don’t worry, ugly can still be pretty cool.

So do as this article suggests and just launch!


Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.