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When we are making products, the feeling of progress is often deceiving: when you feel 95% done, you might be halfway through the journey. The seemingly small last leg of the project requires a slower pace and more attention to detail. What looks like 5% of the work would likely take 50% of the time.

Last week, I shared a growth hack idea and the start of the execution in Day 13th’s newsletter A Day in the Life of a Growth Hacker. It was a quick and fun exploration. I spent the following day developing it. The remaining work is adding it into three sites that I owned. I estimated it to be a trivial part of the following day’s work, but it turned out to be false.

There are two types of people: starter and finisher. Starters live for the creative beginning of projects; finishers enjoy accomplishing the day-to-day work and following through. I am a starter type. My first hurdle of crossing the finishing line is procrastination. I hate to get into the nitty-gritty of the fit and finish work. I am more tempted to start a new project in the meantime.

Today I finally get into the work I was procrastinating on. I realize there are a lot of details to attend to, even for a small growth hack project.

The first thing is to make the promotion modal responsive, something I omitted initially:,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_lossy/

I added it to the first candidate site: CSS Icon is the sample site I used to create the template, so everything naturally fits together :,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

When adding it to Font Playground, I needed to customize the font to fit in with the rest of the app:,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

With Type Detail, it needs further customization on title font and colors:,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

As much as I tried to architect the code in anticipation of these customizations, a few surprises showed up here and there and took a few more rounds to finalize! This is only a simple pop-up modal; the last-mile problem will only be more significant for a full product!

Today’s lesson: be prepared for the last-mile problem when making a product. The last leg of the journey can be the slowest and most expensive. Leave enough time and space to grind on the fit and finish.

I am building my product – a brand design app – in public and share my progress daily in my newsletter. If you enjoy the content, please consider subscribing to my newsletter!

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