“The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.” –Lorne Michaels, creator and producer of Saturday Night Live.
Sound familiar? It’s a rephrasing of a slightly older, but no less valuable lesson often attributed to the French poet Voltaire, “the best is the enemy of the good.”
That’s advice we often find ourselves sharing with our clients. We share it in hopes of giving them (and you) the license to move ahead, to know that it’s almost always the right move to stop perseverating and put your best foot forward, even if your shoes aren’t perfectly tied.
And why does it fall upon me to share this wisdom with you? Because I’m not only the sage in this case, I’m frequently the one trapped in this paradigm. Like many other writers, I can’t read a sentence I’ve written without thinking there might be a way to change it and make it better. As a result, deadlines are – without a doubt – my friends. They give me permission to set things free out into the world. Why is that important?
Whether or not you believe that we are now living in a post-truth society, we all need to be aware that what’s next is usually held in greater regard than what’s past. What are you going to do for me now?
So, Lorne and I (and Voltaire) want to encourage you to share your thoughts, plans, pontifications, and products with your audience and prospects. NOW. Not tomorrow. Not after ten more rounds of critiques. NOW. We don’t want to eschew doing research, or skip efforts to effectively segment your market – two steps that are very near and dear to us here at Nomad – but we don’t want you to get stuck.
One of the many reasons we encourage our clients to take a more agile approach to web design is because we firmly believe it is better to communicate freely and frequently, rather than waiting for perfection or for everybody to weigh in prior to publication to ensure that nothing that might later be nit-picked gets through.
So, pursue the “good,” and don’t be afraid that it’s almost 11:30. I’ve been in this game long enough to have scars from times when potential mistakes were more often printed in ink across thousands of copies than posted online as they are today. Take full advantage of the fact that while the “edit” function can’t undo the past, it can certainly help you to continue to refine your messages for the present and future.
Go forth and share, publish, and relish the reactions, because if a member of your audience reads what you’ve written well enough to spot a point of contention, you know you’ve won the hardest battle – getting them to notice you in the first place.