Hacker Ferret musings on “Execution”

We are taught to do things the right way or not at all. Right? It’s just the “right” thing to do?

In the best of all circumstances in the best of all worlds then sure. If you have no reason not to and you know what “the right way” is then by all means do.

But, in the real world, you almost never have ideal conditions for anything. You never have all the answers and as a general rule, we humans are totally fallible.There is never enough time, money, or resources to do it the way you envisioned. Even then your guess about the “right way” is just a guess. As a way to compensate, we add in improvisation, circumstantial tweaks, dumb luck and a whole lotta iteration.

And from that chaotic mix, our baby is born warts and all.

Seeking Perfection in the Small Business and Startup world

In many of my talks with small businesses and startup,  I’ve found that the “gut” instinct is to act like a “proper”
perfect company, to be like the “big boys” and “grow up” and act like a “real” business.

“Grown up” Businesses

There are some cases with this thought process can have merit, but much of what make small businesses great lies in its charm and humanity. But, when it comes to products, perfection and overly traditional “waterfall-type” tend to lean on the side of keeping people away from our products until they are 100% perfect. Many companies tend to want to project an image of “professionalism” and deify themselves so they are without fault.

This way of thinking can seriously hurt when money and resources are finite. Some amount of polish and feature additions are nice but, you do not have nigh-infinite resources to worry about how amazing your site design is, what social media integrations should work with your product, what your copy is going to look like or, really anything outside of the scope of that MVP.

“See I shipped it!” “YEAH! No ramen for dinner tonight! Happy meals all around!”

When you want to roll like a giant you forget to be human. In order to have your business survive at this point, your focus needs to be on figuring out what and validating your MVP and then Just F**king Ship! Everything you do in service to the company should be in service to getting a working product that solves a problem and is what your customers are willing to pay for. If being “professional” is not working in service to that goal then don’t bother.

 

With Respect to Quality of Execution 

My Rules of thumb about execution.

Don’t

  • Don’t give up because it isn’t great the first go around.
  • Don’t stop because it isn’t the best.
  • Don’t stop when you get feedback that points out your failings
  • Don’t let your worries about outside world stop you

Do

  • Do try even if you can’t give the ideal output to everything.
  • Do fix as you go
  • Do take advantage of forwarding momentum.
  • Do continue to iterate
  • Do accept feedback
  • Do accept that you are not going to get it right on the first try. Accept that that is okay.
  • Do allow yourself to fail

 

Fix it, move it, tweak it, break it, get you feedback then and fix it again. Sometimes we just have to keep going because it’s all we have.

“Perfect is the enemy of good” Voltaire

Stop trying to be so grown up and get out there and burn rubber!

Am I Wrong?

Probably not but, by all means, if I’m wrong, feel free to attempt to change my mind in the comments.