Build Quickly and Move On
Tags: business
October 28th, 2022

We live in an era of Analysis Paralysis.

It's too often we want to know the outcome of something before we build it. We want to know if it'll be useful, if people will buy it, if it will work. We spend agonizing amounts of time on this preparation. We ask for second, third, and fourth opinions.  Committees are formed, discussions held, meetings adjorned. The waffling goes on and on.

But life's not like that. If we're doing something unique in the world, we won't know the outcome until it's built.

So just ship the damn thing.

Sure, we might have an issue because velocity can be too slow. That can happen and its a fixable problem. More often its because we think of everything that can go wrong with the idea. We think of the ways it can fail, the embarrassment we'll suffer, the time we'll have wasted.

But software is cheap. In fact, its virtually disposable. If the launch has gone really bad you can always rollback and redeploy the old thing. More often, you'll get some things right and other things wrong and will readjust. But that's okay because code is cheap to transmit.

"Just shipping" has benefits to team morale. Nobody wants to show up to work when its all hypothetical debates with no evidence. This is especially true of engineers. When the team is building and in a groove, then everybody is happy. They're happy because they're productive.

There are exceptions of course. Physical things don't get updates like software. They need to have more forethought. Similarly, any huge capital investment, such as a semiconductor fab, needs preplanning to avoid billions wasted.

But is your business really of that scale? How much time and payroll are you wasting debating doing something instead of just doing it?