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Good enough, not good enough, perfect

It’s good enough

“It’s good enough! Just ship it!”

“Perfect is the enemy of good!”

In this modern times, we need to move fast.

Often this will come at a cost. And that cost is often quality. Quality is subjective. Sacrificing quality could be a right call. But it is not a good long term solution.

Remember, you need to move fast, but this is not a sprint. Usually it’s a marathon. And marathons are not won in the first few kilometers. You need to find your pace and keep it.

Push too hard at the start and you will have no energy left. Sacrifice quality at the start and you will have to rework so much, that you will have no time to do other work.

And the worst is – it will not happen overnight. It is like getting overweight. You forget to exercise for a few months and suddenly you realize you are fat. Even worse is there is no quick solution – it took you months to gain all that weight, now you need months to be fit again.

It is not good enough

“It is not good enough! We need this and that as well!”

Suppose you start with a high quality bar from the start. No sacrifices. You have this perfect and beautiful product in mind, that everyone is going to love.

So you start to build it.

It takes a lot of time. Often you do not finish it at all, when you realize how long it will take. You just give up.

Or you succeed, you build it! Its perfect, but half of it is left unused. That half you spend weeks polishing.

You realize nothing is how you planned it at the beginning. When you plan, you had no idea how your work is going to be used.

You worked a lot and hard, but you did not get a lot from all that investment.

Perfect?

Perfection, just like weight loss, does not happen overnight. For both to happen you need to consistently put effort toward a goal.

If you are building a product, you cannot build it perfect from the start. But that does not mean you are not going to try…

Your focus should be initially to build something, anything that just works instead. It will not be “perfect”, but it will be something you need to improve.

So start with this in mind – you are building something that must and will need to be improved later.

You need to iterate.

Your standards of perfection needs to be revised and meet the real world, because they are likely too high. So you need a checkpoint, some feedback. And the means to achieve this feedback is simple – iteration.

Build an increment, get a reality check, react, repeat.

Think about the impact of what you do and the problem you are solving. You will quickly realize a lot of what you do is waste. Some waste cannot be prevented, but a lot of it can. Remove it, it slows you down.

You do not know how to split the work in increments? This is probably because you are still thinking too much about your perfect solution. Focus on the impact, not on the solution.

Important is – you are moving and have frequent opportunities to change direction.

After a number of iterations you have something working and somewhat polished. It is not perfect, yet. But it is good. Very good. You show it to people and they like it a lot! And they beg you to release it!

But there is work to be done! It can be so much better. And now you realize:

The only person that knows this is not perfect is… you.

You can improve it, but are people going to even notice the difference? Ask yourself this question and if the answer is no, just leave it as it is. Your perfect ideal and that of the others are not the same and will never be.

Now you know what others perceive as perfect. This is what you should aim for. Not the one thing in your head.

Thank you for reading.

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