When it comes to launching a project or idea, we are the largest barrier. Countless ideas, projects, proposals, articles, and tools never see the light of day because we strangle them to death with revisions, improvements, and a list of other things that don’t matter.. Instead of continually pushing forward, we get lost in the barrage of details. We get lost in perfection.
Choosing which defects to accept, features to leave out, and ideas to punt is hard. We don’t like it and it never feels good, but it is essential. The longer a project is withheld from actual customer, the less likely they are to ever see it at all. The longer you wait to take the jump, the easier it is not to.
Forward momentum is essential, especially for younger projects.
I witness the tension daily with myself, friends, and with our clients. If the Pareto Principle is even partially accurate, most of the details don’t matter anyway.
How to Tackle This?
Find the details that matter most and be ready to compromise on the rest. Pursue excellence, not perfection.
Pushing a project out the door the first time feels risky. People might not like it. Something might not work. What if something goes wrong? What if no one wants it?
When these fears and concerns lead to delays, the pressure and costs begin to compound. It’s easy to consider the monetary costs, but other costs accumulate as well.
Reasons Not to Wait:
Momentum. Something beautiful happens when skilled people are able to work within their sweet spot; productivity increases over time. Overanalyzing a project kills that momentum. Once you loose it, it’s hard to get back.
Morale. People thrive on doing work that has meaning. The longer it takes to see the results, the less satisfying the work becomes. A momentary dip may happen from time to time, but it becomes painful long term.
Complexity.Things rarely get simpler over time. The longer you wait to launch, the more complex the project becomes. Sometimes the complexity is needed, but usually it’s not. Complexity is a cost that you’ll have to continue paying far into the future through having to explain it, justify it, and support it.
Time. Time is our most precious resource. We can never get it back. Wasted time has a painful way of counting twice. It involves the sacrifices of committing to ‘x’ and the opportunity cost of not having ‘y’.
Progress is iterative. The sooner you launch, the faster and more thoughtfully you can begin improving. That means more time spent getting better.
So what are you waiting for?