Investing time up front is the best way to help a project succeed.
There's more to starting a projec than ESR's mantra: ‘release early, release often.’
No developer will get excited about a program that doesn't do anything. Developers will be most enthusiastic about a program where they are empowered to make major design and software engineering decisions.
No potential user of your program is interested in a program that doesn't work, while the development process that you want to employ holds involvement of users as imperative.