Done Is Better Than Perfect

by on February 17th, 2012

Imagine you have a choice. You can have something done fast. Or you can have it perfect. But you don’t get both. You only get to pick one. In that case, which one would you choose? What would inform your decision? And would it matter if it were in business or law? And would it matter who you were working with? Well, these are precisely some of the questions I think about on a daily basis.

One thing I’ve learned over the past few months, is that sometimes you have to make this choice. Sometimes you have to get something done. And so DONE becomes more important to you.  But then there are other times you can do something to perfection. That the better the product, the better off you are.

Lawyers tend to strive for perfect. They want to write air tight memos. Make arguments with no holes. And give you all the details even when they are not needed.

On the other hand, business people do the exact opposite. They want to get finished and move on. They want to create a MVP (minimum viable product). And they want to take on more activities. That’s what Faebcook believes. In fact, it’s one of Mark Zuckerberg’s main mottoes.

So the question is, which one works best?

As for me, I tend to do both depending on the time. At times, I work hard on one thing to make it better than I ever imagined. This is especially true for things a lot of people will see (and judge). But in other cases, I don’t want to spend your time trying to make things perfect. That’s how I feel with my logo today for the new website I am working on. It’s also how I feel on some of the assignments I am working on and interviews (for my website) I am doing. Because perfect would require tradeoffs that might not be worth it.

If I had to choose, I’d pick done.

What about you? What motto do you live by? And what if I said you can’t say both.

1 comment

  • With you on this. Cannot possibly over emphasize on the importance of getting things done. "Progress over perfection"  any day.. Have learnt it the hard way and have been applying it ever since. And i quote that once everyday to someone or the other.

    P.S: If you have a bit of time, do go through "Execution"..  explains the importance of building a culture of execution in an organization. Good read.

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