I just read this article by David Ronick (@upstartbootcamp), the point that stood out to me most was when he stated “perfect is the enemy of good enough." I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, I like things neat, organized, on time or early. I often go overboard in the beginning diving into what I'm doing so I have enough time to refine the project, report, product, or whatever I'm doing in a stress free manner well in advance of the deadline. In college I preferred to turn my work in early so I could get feedback from my professors (once I was accused of plagiarism because my professor didn't believe a student would actually do something like this).
I finally learned that when I'm almost done...that means it's time to launch. I use to curse myself with constant editing when the product was actually "good enough," I would waste a great deal of time trying to make it perfect.
I no longer do this because Jason Fried taught me in on page 93 of Rework that once a product does what it needs to do, then it needs to go to market. I used to hold everything up because of a few leftovers, when I should have been shipping the product out the door, and putting off what I didn't need right at that very moment. Jason makes the point, "Build the necessities now, worry about the luxuries later."
I'm reminded of the founders of Crate and Barrel. They didn't wait to build perfect and fancy displays when they opened their first store. No, what they did was turn over the crates and barrels that the merchandise came in and stacked the products on top of them. I love the no-frills Costco credo! Drop the pallet and cut the wrap - that's it.
While this kind of approach could easily be mistaken for skimping on quality, cutting corners, laziness or procrastination, it's important to understand that the best way to create something great is through iterations.
Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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