Mark Suster is a tech entrepeneur turned VC, and he’s got a blog that’s worth reading if you’re connected to tech at all. Although this is geared toward tech entrepreneurs, his most recent article talks about how the pursuit of perfection can paralyze us. Instead of waiting until your product is perfect, he says, launch early and learn from your mistakes.
Makes sense, but sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what that first step is. When you’re actually building a product, there are some schools of thought that will help you figure out at what point your stuff might actually be worth calling a “product” (see minimum viable product), but in the general sense, I think Mark’s message is that it’s important to get moving as soon as you understand your general direction.
I’ve always been a fan of “vision” when it comes to products, goals, companies, and so on. But visions so often wind up being couched in general terms, and they’re too far away, too complex, and too vague to help us with any specific plans. I do believe it’s worth thinking about those visions — probably even writing them down and sharing them — but then, start moving and use the vision to check your progress rather than waiting for the vision to turn into a bill of materials or a road map.
When I was a kid, my Dad used to get frustrated with me sometimes when I was stuck trying to figure something out. “Do something — even if it’s wrong,” he’d say. I think Suster would agree.