I was watching Late Night with Seth Meyers last week and the author Paul Beatty was the last guest. He was talking about a friend of his and fellow author that wrote a new book every couple of years or so. When Seth asked him how he was able to do that, Paul replied, “He can do it because he is not a perfectionist, he is a completionist.”
This reminded me of something I had heard from Steve Jobs when he was founding Apple, “Real Artists Ship.” Both sayings have the same principle at their core: a good or even OK product that launches is better than a perfect one that doesn’t. You might ask, “Isn’t it better to just ship perfect products?” Yes, but you don’t always get that choice.
Reid Hoffman, the founder of Linked In, went as far as to say, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” — Voltaire
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
In the books The Lean Startup and The Ultralight Startup, they talk about the concept of the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that is only supposed to get something into customer’s hands so you can start getting feedback and improving your product.
Too often, we as entrepreneurs, treat our startups like our babies. And our babies are perfect! Of course. But instead of looking at your baby now, think of what your baby could become. With the proper care and nurturing, your baby startup can be great, but it needs to get out into the world first.
This month’s challenge is this: What if you focused on getting your startup to a “completed” state rather than trying to put every feature you can think of in and get it to a “perfect” state?
In the comments below, list something that you will do this month. Then as you get closer to completing it, add comments to show your progress. Then, when it is complete, add another comment to celebrate and get feedback from other TIMEOCers. Remember to pick something you can actually accomplish and make sure it gets done. Be a completionist!