Perfection versus “Just ship it.”

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I have been thinking about the nature of traditional arts and design notions around craft and mastery, and what we should carry on vs toss aside.

  • Perfection assumes infinite time and infinite budget. It is a good approach when money is no object. It’s a bad one if you are financially stretched.
  • “Just ship it” either assumes that post-shipping learnings can outweigh having lower experience quality OR with an MVLP approach the experience quality is being addressed at the expense of time and other resources.

Both approaches are important to use — and to explicitly budget for appropriately within a larger scope and set of goals. —JM

PS as a Lisp Machine lover I enjoyed this related tweet:


I like this way of thinking about the context and it makes me think that the financial and time-pressures circumstances of an organization can shape its culture.

One question though — aren’t you assuming that perfection can be attained without post-shipping learning?

Great point on the nature of perfection as being iterative. I agree that there are many kinds of perfectionism — like becoming perfect in public over time versus being unveiled to the entire world as a masterpiece.