Why slowing down can actually speed up your development (a counterintuitive approach)

Hi everyone! (Happy 4th to those in the US!)

I sent this email to Coaching No Code Apps subscribers yesterday and got a lot of really positive responses, so I wanted to share it with everyone here, too.

This isn’t a technical post, but hopefully it’ll help you improve or realign your mindset to continue making quick and effective progress with your MVP.

(Fair warning, this is a bit lengthy, but worth a read!)

"Slow is smooth…smooth is fast.

What does that mean to you?

If you’re a fan of Mark Wahlberg, you might have heard this before…

And you might be thinking, “Why on earth would a quote like this be the opening line of an email about apps?”

(Mark says it in a movie called “Shooter.”)

While it might seem odd, there’s a good reason I’m asking what it means to you…

Think about it…

Slow is smooth.

Smooth is fast.

See, here’s the thing…

Every single day, I come across new developers or entrepreneurs who have jumped straight from “idea,” right into step 20, 30, or even 50 of their app’s development and launch.

Maybe they have a logo or they’ve hired a designer for their app, but they don’t even have their database built yet.

Maybe they’ve spent 5 weeks figuring out the wording on their pages, but they haven’t even decided on an app building platform yet.

Maybe they’re spending way too much on lawyers to keep their app idea locked securely behind contracts, but they haven’t even surveyed or engaged with their potential market yet.

It’s a slippery slope.

And I mean, when you have an idea for an app (one that could potentially turn into a successful business), it’s hard not to think 20 steps ahead. You want to move as quickly as you possibly can.

I get it.

But the quote isn’t “fast is smooth, smooth is fast…”

It’s SLOW is smooth, and smooth is fast.

Now, I get that I’m basing an entire post off a quote that has nothing to do with building apps, but if you really take some time to think about it, this quote can have everything to do with building apps.

In reality, it has to do with success, no matter what kind you’re after.

So let me ask…

Do you need to slow down?

This sounds counterintuitive, I know.

You probably never expected me to tell you to slow down.

But I want you to consider whether slowing down would actually help you reach your goals.

Think about this - what should come first when you’re developing your app?

Now, for the sake of this post, I’m going to assume you already know there’s a need for the app you’re building.

So, assuming you’ve validated your idea, what should come first in development?

I want to keep this short and simple because in reality, it is simple…

I’m not looking for answers like “workflows,” or “importing my data from Google sheets,” or anything like that.


The first step in development (and every next step), should consist of what’s necessary in the moment.

There’s a thing called “just in time learning,” which I try to make a practice of.

It’s all about learning only what you need to know right now to accomplish the thing you want to do.

So, let’s say you wanted to build a brand new business that makes 7 figures per year.

There’s a lot that goes into building a business like that.

With “just in time learning,” though, instead of spending years learning everything you’d need to know to accomplish that, you’d only spend time learning how to take the very first step.

…And then you’d take that first step.

Then, you’d go back and learn how to take the next step.

…And then you’d take that next step.

Here’s the thing…It might take you 10 years to learn how to create a 7 figure business in theory (in other words, you’ve read about it but never done it).

But, what if, instead of spending those 10 years learning and then starting to build, you just started right now, and learned as you went?

Chances are, you’d be a heck of a lot closer to reaching your goal a whole lot sooner!

That’s what “just in time learning” is all about - avoiding endless information-consumption and actually taking actionable steps instead.

Let’s apply that to app building.

Here’s what I see happen time and time again…

Someone has an app idea, and they dive head first into learning how to build, market, and launch their app.

They read, think, or hear they need things like:

  • A killer design so they can stand out above the crowd
  • An explainer video created and edited by a professional
  • Really expensive copywriting
  • A podcast
  • An app with strictly NO mistakes (or else people won’t use it, right?)
  • A social media manager and big ads budget
  • Bigger and better features than their competition
  • An idea NO ONE else has ever capitalized on

So, naturally, they take 1, 2, or even 3 years to plan out allll the little details, only to find themselves without a working product to back all those details up.

If this resonates at all…


And listen, I don’t mean spend less time working on your app.

I mean focus on the basics.

Take a step back.

Only take the next step if it’s absolutely critical to your next goal.

Okay, here’s what I want you to do…

First, take your end goal - like having a successful business from your app or having a million users on board - and break it down into little, bite sized pieces.

So, your first step might be to have a landing page for your app with an email opt in to gauge interest. The goal could be to get 100 people on your “interested” list.

Or, if your app is for internal use, maybe your first step is to have a single, core feature working. The goal could be to test your app in a live working environment.

Your next steps could be to have a group of test users, to improve the core feature, or to add the next core feature.

Those goals are a far cry from having a million users on board or turning your app into something that could support you or your family, aren’t they?

But unless you start with those tiny steps and goals, you’ll never reach the big ones.

This is where we’ll go back to the “just in time” development…

Do you need a stellar design, a professionally created logo, snazzy email software, or 20 social media accounts to create a single core feature or build a list of interested people for your app?

No way!

Will you need them someday?


But avoid holding yourself back by focusing on all those things now - well before you ever even need to think about them - and focus on the “just in time” instead.

Doing so might feel like you’re slowing yourself down and extending your timeline…

Maybe actually learning how to build a core feature of your app takes longer than hiring someone to create a logo or buying a bunch of domain names…

Maybe starting with a bare bones MVP in order to validate not just your idea, but all the ideas within your idea (like all the extra components that make up your app’s main features) is hard because it feels like you’re moving at a snail’s pace…

But I can promise you that by focusing on the critical components now - just the things you need in order to take your very next step - you’ll actually be moving way faster.

Remember, slow is smooth…

By taking development one step at a time, you’ll be humming along smoothly

And by moving through development smoothly, you’ll be moving fast.

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast."

Cheers, and happy building!

-Gaby at Coaching No Code Apps

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Excellent advice @romanmg and very well written :+1: Overall - as we also see that with a lot in the people we interact with - the content of an MVP and its actual function in the building process is very diverse and often misunderstood. To add on that, along with smooth is fast, i would complete with sometimes « Less is more » :wink:


Love this haha :grin:

@mattmazzega absolutely – I totally agree. Especially with the “yes is more” part! :slightly_smiling_face:

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