Recently, Shelby and I, in the name of this blog, decided to sponsor a local fundraiser for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. That decision got me thinking about the late Randy Pausch and his Last Lecture book and video. I started re-reading the book and came across this quote on page x of the introduction:
… engineering isn’t about perfect solutions; it’s about doing the best you can with limited resources.
The search for perfect will kill your project. Do you know why? You’ll never launch the product and thus never generate a nickel of revenue. The first generation of iPhones from Apple were far from perfect. To this day, I remember people complaining because you couldn’t cut and paste between applications. In spite of that and other shortcomings, Apple sold a whole bunch of less than perfect iPhones and arguably changed the world in the process.
I’m not suggesting you stop striving for perfection because it’s in the quest for perfection that you end up building some pretty awesome less than perfect solutions to the world’s problems. Instead I’m suggesting that you learn to step back and say that for right now this is the best we can do with the resources we have. The cautionary side of this advice is to not use “good enough” as excuse to not do the very best you can. Work up until the last moment and pull out all the stops. In short, make your product the very best it can be before release date.