“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman
We should get more encouragement to fail and try stuff out. It should feel like it’s ok to fail every now and then.
Unfortunately we often get warned about the risks and it just seems safer to not try or sit down and plan until everything’s just right.
It’ll never be just right or perfect.
With that said, some things need a bit of planning and preparation, as we’ve talked about in precious posts. Some things you need to have some basic knowledge and understanding about. This information can usually be acquired pretty fast. Or you could just go, you know, Leeroy Jenkins over it… Or not… I’d prefer you didn’t.
Once that’s done and you’ve got an idea of what you want to accomplish it’s go time!
You just create, then put it through a feedback loop. With feedback loop I mean that you analyze it and trying to figure out what to improve, if you have a hard time doing it then try it out on colleagues, friends, family, market etc.
Then you improve it and you SHIP IT!
Scary stuff, I know.
It may or may not be the best thing ever, you might get criticized by some and others might think it’s great!
Either way, you’ll look back at it and feel like “Man, that’s embarrassing. I’m so much better now. I know so much more.” and you should!
We’ve got so few dangers around us nowadays so feelings like embarrassment, not being good enough and fear of failing take unreasonable proportions. I mean, come on, can one really die of embarrassment? Ok, so a housemaid in 1860 apparently died of embarrassment when she was caught stealing food. The exception the proves the rule?
* Start by thinking about what you want to put out there. Don’t pull a Leeroy Jenkins.
* Test it out, like a beta-version, improve it. Be careful, don’t let it become an infinite loop. If you need to, put a deadline on it.
* Once you’ve improved it, release it into the wild!
* Be proud for a while. Then look at it with a bit of distance and see what you can improve on,
* Repeat procedure.
The cool thing is, some things you’re certain will succeed will fail miserably and things you’re not so sure of will somehow work. When it happens, try to understand why and keep improving yourself and your craft whatever it may be.
There’s a reason I keep coming back to this. When I was younger I got two things in my head. One was that you had to avoid embarrassing yourself or people around you, and the second was that if you’re going to do something you should do it properly.
I got over the embarrassment part when I was still quite young, but the “perfectionist” idea stuck around for a looong time. I’m trying to tell as many people as I can that it’s alright to get embarrassed and not be perfect.
You can still be great, in fact you’re probably going to be greater than those who limit themselves by those things. As long as you keep on reaching higher and higher.
There’s this great word called “iteration”. What it means is basically to repeat a process with the aim to get to a goal, target or result. What’s really cool is that the results of the first iteration can and should be used as the starting point for the next iteration.