“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” Confucius
“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Voltaire
“Real artists ship.” Steve Jobs
These three quotes from three separate eras all speak to the same thing: the paralyzing power of perfection. Perfection as an idea and thought experiment is… perfect and as high achievers, we often find ourselves drawn to the tantalizing concept of perfection.
But perfection, like an oasis in the desert, is a mirage.
Every person has allowed perfectionism to kill a project, opportunity, etc. Some of us are chronic perfectionists. (including myself)
I want everyone to think about a situation right now where perfection is preventing progress. (examples: A proposal that isn’t quite right. A design that’s 90% of the way there. A business plan that’s missing a few details. This very education piece I’m reading right now.)
Look at the situation and ask yourself, “Is it good enough?”
If the answer is yes, ship it because real artists ship.
The pain of delivering and failing is small but the pain of failing to deliver is enormous.
When you find yourself paralyzed by perfection, remember that the perfect is the enemy of the good and ship.