Less than Perfect is a Perfect Start


Her First Subscriber

“How did you do it?” she asked.  “In a sea of blogs that never make it, how did you start a personal blog that attracted the attention of 10,000 subscribers?”
I chuckled.  “You know, I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around that one myself.”
“Come on, Marc,” she insisted.  “I’m being serious here.  I’m getting ready to start my own blog and I’m nervous about failing.  I want to cross all my T’s and dot all my I’s – I don’t want to start it until I know how to do it right.”
I stared at her for a moment.  “Well, one Sunday evening a few years ago, I made a decision to write an article about something that inspired me, and then I published it on my blog.  And every Sunday evening since, I’ve made a similar decision.”
“That’s it?” she asked.  “No launch plan?  No design tweaks?  No marketing?”
“No, at least not initially,” I replied.  “I did a little tweaking later on down the road, but by then my blog already had a catalog of articles up online.  And most of the tweaks were based on reader feedback and analyzing visitor stats to see which articles were attracting the most attention.”
“So you think I simply need to start writing, right now… about the things that inspire me?”
“Yeah,” I replied.  “The only way you can fail is by not writing – by waiting around until you have the perfect plan before you start.  Because ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist.  It isn’t human.  It isn’t you.
She smiled and said, “Thank you.”
Later that afternoon, she emailed me a link to her first published blog article.  And I became her first subscriber.

What’s the core purpose?

The hardest part, I have found, of creating something new – a website, a product, a technology – is simply the act of starting.  We let our creative minds get so caught up in planning and designing idealistic requirements and prerequisites for our new creation, that we drastically hinder the actual process of creating it.

What stops most people from starting with a less than perfect plan or product is the fear of failure.  There’s a common misconception that if you don’t get it done exactly right the first time, your creation will fail and all efforts will be lost.  That without this feature or that tweak, there’s no point at all.  Nonsense.

The truth is that every successful creation or innovation has a foundational core purpose – a tiny essence that justifies its existence.  Any tweak or feature above and beyond the scope of this core purpose is optional.  When my friend decided she wanted to start a blog, she spent all of her energy trying to map out the perfect plan and design, instead of simply writing her first few blog articles – which is the core purpose of a blog.

So the next time you decide to create something new, back yourself into a corner, cut out the fluff, and release your core creation into the wild ASAP for others to experience and tinker with.  Less than perfect is a perfect start.  The need for intelligent tweaks and adjustments will arise naturally as time rolls on.