John Murch

Stop Shooting for Perfection and JFDI

21 Jan 2010
Stop Shooting for Perfection and JFDI

When I think about my personal startup ideas and major failures, JDFI was always number 1 on my list. What is JDFI? Just Freaking Do It. I have launched and failed on numerous websites/ideas in 2009. In 2010, I do not want to have the same go around happen. This is why I focus so much on getting things out there as soon as they are ready (or even before). Rather then research and focus on marketing data where I would tweak the website until I felt that it was perfect, I say JDFI and launch it. Slap a beta sticker on that bad boy and focus on getting feedback from peers. Accept that things are not 100% right all the time and launch, iterate, launch iterate. People are accepting today more then ever. Gmail fails for an hour and people live with it, it may be tough with all those negative tweets about it, but life goes on and people will understand.

The funny thing about perfection is you can actually be better if you stop shooting for it. Last Christmas I got some golf lessons and although I lost a couple of balls in the water and on the roof of a house, the best lesson I heard was don’t try for perfection. During the putting practice lesson, the golf instructor suggested to imagine a 3 foot circle around the golf hole. Focus on getting the ball within that distance from a long putt rather then going for the hole. This way even if you miss, you 2 putt your way off the green.

By focusing on not being perfect you can actually lower your score because you are accepting the 2 putt system rather then trying to perfect your putting technique where you end up normally adding 3 or 4 stokes due to distance and direction.

Applying this system to a startups, you realize that you don’t need 100 servers or even 1, you can launch on a shared hosting account. Have you heard of digg (d i double g), Did you know that Digg was launched on a shared hosting. Yes, an almost top 100 website in the US was started on a shared hosting account. So rather then focus on perfection the first go around, shoot for something close, like a decent wage to live off of and no VC money. Once you are making say, $10k a month, then focus on building that startup into a megacorportation.

Just with this philosophy of JFDI, I have been focusing on the simple steps and getting ideas out there. Remember you can’t push a rope, you can only pull it. So focus your efforts on what you can pull and worry about the millions of things that “might” happen later because some of those things will keep you from launching your ideas today.

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