Admit it, you’ve wondered.
When is “good,” good enough?
At what point do you call it “done” and get it up for sale, or published, or launched?
How do you know that you’ve reached the point of launching your project, and aren’t just being too lazy to work on it anymore?
And what about all the tweaks, adjustments, refinements, and additions you want to make?
At what point does good become good enough?
A fine line to walk
In many of the articles I write, I talk about the importance of never settling for “good enough” in any aspect of your business. I also talk about how mediocrity is a cancer that will diminish the value of what you do.
But then there’s the “Ready, Fire, Aim” philosophy.
The “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach says you should just create something, launch it, and then fix it, tweak it, or edit it. Some have even started calling it the “ready, fire, aim, apologize” or “ready, fire, aim, reload, repeat” approach.
The question is, where do you draw the line?
Do you bust your ass to get it right before you launch, or do you launch and then get it right?
Which approach is the right one?
Your best is a good place to start
I’m a firm believer in giving everything you do your very best effort. That means when you’re preparing your project for launch, you should make it the best you possibly can – at that time, with the resources you have.
There is no such thing as a perfect product, or a perfect company name, or perfect eBook – so don’t let yourself get mired down trying to be perfect, because it’s just not going to happen (more on this a little later).
However, you should put your best into what you’re working on by making it as good as it can be at that time.
A well-planned, well-executed product provides more value, more satisfaction, and a better overall experience for your customer than something that’s slapped together. And that better experience for the customer translates into better response rates and more sales for you due to higher customer satisfaction ratings, and increased word-of-mouth referrals.
The same is true for your marketing. For example, tossing together a crude website and slapping it online is going to get you lousy results. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, put some time and effort into your marketing. That little extra polish you put into it now will help increase the return you get on your marketing investment.
Have you ever heard the phrase “good to go?”
It’s a phrase coined by the military to indicate something is prepared, up to the task, and ready to be deployed. When you give your project your best, you’re striving to make it “good to go” rather than “good enough.”
Next, check your motivation for launching
The next step is to do an internal “gut check” and ask yourself why you’re getting ready to launch your project.
Are you launching it because you’ve made it the best you can make it right now, and are confident it will provide value and a positive experience for the customers that buy this first “beta” version?
Or are you launching it because you’re sick of working on it, have other things to do, and just want to get it launched so you can move on to the next item in your “to do” list?
Anytime you look at something, shrug your shoulders, and say “eh, good enough” in an offhand, dismissive tone, you’re settling for less than your best. You’re giving in to mediocrity because you’re lazy, or tired, or frustrated, or fed up, or desperate, or have lost interest and simply don’t care anymore.
You’re trading lasting results for temporary comfort and/or a quick initial payoff.
But what happens when that initial flame fizzles, sputters, and then goes cold?
Now don’t read this article and then run out and say, “I’m going to make the perfect (insert your project here).”
It can’t be done.
As I said earlier, nothing is perfect when it’s launched – that’s why there are things like software updates and optional accessories. If a product was perfect when it was launched, you wouldn’t need those updates or after-market fixes.
So don’t let yourself get mired down in a temporal causality loop of “analysis paralysis” trying to make sure you’ve accounted for every detail, every variable. It won’t happen. Whatever you launch will need some adjusting and improvement after launch. Count on it.
But accepting the fact that nothing’s perfect, and throwing in the towel are two very different things.
Recently I wrote a pretty comprehensive guide to building your own brand on Copyblogger. This article had 125 tips in it that you can use to create a brand that’s irresistible to your audience. Admittedly, 125 tips in a blog post makes for a long article – but each of the items in that list were do-able when taken step-by-step, one at a time. None of it was “rocket science.”
But not according to Pepita.
Pepita argued that I was creating an “illusion of makeability.” She argued that it is, in fact, impossible to create an irresistible brand. She then went on to write a post on her own blog touting “makeability (actually being able to make something) is an illusion.”
Now when you read her comments and her own blog post, the message she is presenting is: “it’s too hard, so don’t bother trying. Give up now, or you’ll be disappointed.”
She’s thrown in the towel. She’s quit trying.
My only response to that kind of thinking is that I’m very thankful folks like the Wright brothers, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, George Washington, and others didn’t share her view.
A sniper’s approach to getting it right
A sniper is the best marksman in their military unit. They’ve been known to be able to hit their target from over a mile away. No small feat when you realize they have to compensate for wind, elevation, humidity, gravity, and even the curvature of the earth on every shot.
But not even a sniper get’s it right on the first shot.
Snipers go through a procedure they call “zeroing” their rifle prior to trying to hit a target. During this procedure, they aim at a target a specific distance away, fire several rounds of ammunition, and with each shot make adjustments to their rifle scope to compensate for things like wind, elevation, and humidity. They keep doing this until the bullet they fire hits the spot on the target their crosshairs are pointing at.
It’s critical to the success of their mission to “zero” their rifle so the projectile they launch will be on target when it counts.
And that’s the kind of approach you want to take with your project.
Spend time doing your research, preparing your plan, evaluating your audience and building the best version of your project you can. As you do that, you’ll be “zeroing” your project – bringing your vision in line with your audience’s needs, so that when you launch you’ll be on target.
The bottom line…
The difference between “good enough” and ready to launch is often in your own attitude and motivation. If you settle for the mediocrity of “good enough,” you’ll be disappointed in the results as much as your customers are disappointed in your product.
But if you “zero” your project to your audience’s needs, put in that extra little bit of effort, and give it your best – you’ll be laying the foundation for lasting results and satisfied customers.
In other words, aim for “good to go” and not “good enough.”
That’s just my opinion. What do you think? Is it important to give everything your best? Or do you subscribe to the “ready, fire, aim” approach?