At a user group meeting last week I got talking with someone who was working on an interesting PhD project. It was not IT related, but as part of the PhD he was developing a website offering a really useful service to people. When I asked “so when will the website go live?” he answered “mid next year”: PhDs are a three-year thing and he needs to span the time.
What a pity. That site should go live as soon as possible! Also, there might be some business in it, but with a longer time-to-market you run a serious risk of “entering obsolete” or at the very least encountering seriously changed market conditions. The world moves faster these days.
And think about it… once online, there’ll be data to collect and analyse that’ll also contribute to the thesis, that in itself will take considerable time. You’d want to get the site up as early as possible, for this reason and to have more time to learn from the real world and fine-tune the service.