The first version always stinks

I should have known better...

I should have known better…
Photo by patries71

Much of my work at the junction of online and offline learning draws on the absolutely stellar WordPress community. At the beginning of this month, Matt Mullenweg—founding developer of the open source WordPress software—wrote a piece that instantly resonated with me, “1.0 is the loneliest number.”

Referring to first versions—of software, hardware or anything—Matt argued that

“if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.”

Waiting for too long

Oh how well do I know this! The number of iterations articles on Nonformality go through is embarrassing, but at least I am not embarrassed by most of them. The downside? Tardiness; I just wish I could write more and publish sooner.

Whenever I produce something—a report, a book, a website, a concept—I spent soooo much time making sure that the “one more thing” is also perfect. The less likely a product is to be regularly updated, the more time I spent to perfect it. And when I *finally* surrender to mounting time pressure, I usually have plenty of reason to still be embarrassed about this or that or the other…

There is only one manuscript for a report that I can think of from the past five years or so that I did not think of as embarrassing. It was very embarrassing to ship it, however, because it was almost a year late; occasionally, I spend so much time endulging in perfectionism that the resulting delay becomes the most embarrassing part…

Which is why I will press the shiny blue «Publish» button now. Because:

“Real artists ship.” Steve Jobs, 1983





2 responses to “The first version always stinks”

  1. Bastian Avatar

    Even though I appreciate your perfectionism I take joy in the fact that I might be reading much more of you then! Keep on clicking that shiny blue button!