I’ve always heard the saying that good is the enemy of great. The thought that if you only focus on good, you’ll never experience what it’s like to do something over the top. Always shoot for and expect greatness!
However, I was listening to a military commander this past weekend discussing how long it took the White House to make a decision to take out Libya’s air defenses. In fact, he said that we were about 10 days too late. They spent so much time talking and trying to with the perfect plan.
Because of that, they had no surprise attack. They gave Gaddafi the opportunity to make a lot of decisions, and movements, that cost us more in time and money to complete the same plan we had 10 days earlier.
As he was talking, he dropped a line that resonated with me as an entrepreneur. He said, “Perfect is the enemy good enough.” Ain’t that the truth! (Sorry mom…I only used ain’t for effect.) You see we can spend an incredible amount of time trying to make something perfect, when what we really need to be focusing on is good enough.
Sometimes it just more important to get your product to market and let it fail a little, than to lose time trying to make sure that you have the right color bow for the packaging. Do you want excellence? Yes! Do you want it to be right? Absolutely! Do you want to miss your opportunity because someone else entered the market with you idea while you were shopping bows? Heck to the no! Ship it already.
Here are a few things to focus on when launching a product:
- Get something out so you can be seen. Any blogger who’s been writing consistently for some time will tell you that the beginning is the toughest part. When you sit down to write your first post, you will have a tendency to spend days trying to make the first one perfect. The problem? You don’t have any readers yet! The only thing you should be focusing on is learning how to write and what it takes to get in a grove.
- Don’t over-estimate your quality. While you can spend a ton of time making sure you have created a great product, you will soon find out where you messed up. Inevitably one of your customers, (Most likely a loyal one. They’re really the only ones who care to say something.) will send you a 3 page letter on all of the areas that you can improve your product. Hey, you can look at that person as being hateful or helpful. It’s up to you.
- Expect the 2.0 version. One thing that Apple has done well is launch a product with the understanding that the public will love it, but they’ll love the next version even more. This way they have actually conditioned us to understand that the first blush will probably have some flaws. But since we’re too impatient, Apple’s just helping us out to have the product that much sooner. *wink wink*
Do all that you can to make your product the best that it can be, so in turn you can be great! But don’t spend so much time that you lose the opportunity…or for that matter, the stomach to launch.