In a recent podcast Steve Pavlina talked about kick starting your business, with advice aimed at turning a profit as soon as possible. One comment in particular made me think. He mentioned how when he started speaking about personal development as a business he didn’t bother making a fancy website, designing a business logo, nor making fancy flyers or business cards; instead he concentrated on the things that would make him money as soon as possible, the website content needed to draw in visitors.
I have to wonder how many projects spent more time creating a flashy website than working on the game the site is promoting. In many cases the games never reached fruition making all the work on the website a waste.
How many people spent months designing their game only to realise it’s too late that it’s too complicated to implement or just not fun to play. Prototyping their ideas early and often could have allowed ideas to be refined, expanded and thrown out over time. As Steve put it
“Ready, Fire, Aim”
“Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim, Aim….”
How many times have you become hung up on the best way to solve a problem, turning what could have been a few hours thought and implementation into a day or more of procrastination. In some cases the extra up front thought is justified and can save you time in the long run but in many cases I’d wager that after just a short amount of thought you’ll have a solution worth implementing. It might not be optimal, but if it works and gets the job done you can always refine and improve later. The chances are you’ll later find your solution was good enough after all and the time saved can be spent on improving more critical areas.
Although his advice in this specific case wasn’t anything new to me, he did put it in a much more general way than I’ve usually heard. A few times this week I caught myself about to embark on a new task, then thinking do I really need to do this now, will it really help me achieve my current goals am I falling into the “Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim…” trap. In most of those cases I decided to put the task to one side or in the case of coding solutions, I went with a working solution rather than spending time coming up with a perfect, elegant and reusable solution when realistically I’ll probably never reuse the code. Besides if I need to I can always refactor it later.
I guess I should take my own advice more often, having just spent a few hours re-theming my blog. Oh well, what would the world be like without a little hypocrisy.