Yesterday, someone I connected with on LinkedIn said, “Hey, I love your blog. How do I subscribe?”
She wasn’t referring to this blog, but another one I write for association executives as part of our marketing. That blog doesn’t have a sign-up form. Not only that, but its formatting isn’t that great. It’s pretty basic and the visual elements need to be tightened up. If you look around the website, you’ll find similar examples where polish is missing or things aren’t laid out quite right.
This is because I work in iterations.
Our internal projects are always V- something. Version 1, 2, 3, etc.
Things don’t have to be perfect right away. We’re going to learn and things are going to change as time passes. If we only released perfect artifacts into the wild, our projects would slow to a crawl.
There’s a guy in my Toastmasters group who has been working on the same speech for two years. He needs it to be “right.” I develop a speech a few hours before I give it and I don’t practice it. I know it’s not going to be perfect. But I’ve done it enough times that the speech is always pretty damn good.
This email / blog post is a good example of a V1. It’s more important for me to get it out every morning than to get it perfect every morning. You’ve probably noticed typos or odd phrasing or ideas that needed a little more coffee. But this is electronic: we’re not printing 100,000 books for Barnes and Noble’s shelves. In a week, it’s going to disappear into the archives. I can always keep developing my ideas in a future post.
You can’t benefit from something until it’s published and in use. There are very few scenarios where something has to be perfect out of the gate (rockets, submarines, and surgeries.)
Momentum, not perfection, is the goal.
So the next time you’re working on something, put “V1” after its title. Then find the end of the first version, ship it, and keep moving.
Featured image is High Street Kensington station on the Inner Circle line in London, the world’s first circle subway line. Used under public domain.