1.0 Is the Loneliest Number

Many entrepreneurs idolize Steve Jobs. He’s such a perfectionist, they say. Nothing leaves the doors of 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino without a polish and finish that makes geeks everywhere drool. No compromise!

I like Apple for the opposite reason: they’re not afraid of getting a rudimentary 1.0 out into the world.

“No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.” — cmdrtaco, Slashdot.org, 2001, reviewing the first iPod

I remember my first 1G iPhone. Like a meal you have to wait for, or a line outside a club, the fact that I stood in line for hours made the first time I swiped to unlock the phone that much sweeter. It felt like I was on Star Trek and this was my magical tricorder… a tricorder that constantly dropped calls on AT&T’s network, had a headphone adapter that didn’t fit any of the hundreds of dollars of headphones I owned, ran no applications, had no copy and paste, and was as slow as molasses.

Now, the crazy thing about that release is when the original iPhone went public, flaws and all, you know that in a secret room somewhere on Apple’s campus they had a working prototype of the 3GS with a faster processor, better battery life, normal headphone jack… a perfect everything. Steve Jobs was probably already carrying around one in his pocket. How painful it must have been to have everyone criticizing them for all the flaws they had already fixed but couldn’t release yet because they were waiting for component prices to come down or for some bugs to be worked out of the app store.

“$400 for an Mp3 Player! I’d call it the Cube 2.0 as it wont sell, and be killed off in a short time… and it’s not really functional. Uuhh Steve, can I have a PDA now?” — elitemacor, macrumors.com, 2001, responding to the original iPod announcement

Or, I wonder, are they really quite zen about the whole thing? There is a dark time in WordPress development history, a lost year. Version 2.0 was released on December 31st, 2005, and version 2.1 came out on January 22nd, 2007. Now just from the dates, you might imagine that perhaps we had some sort of rift in the open source community, that all the volunteers left or that perhaps WordPress just slowed down. In fact it was just the opposite, 2006 was a breakthrough year for WP in many ways: WP was downloaded 1.5 million times that year, and we were starting to get some high-profile blogs switching over. The growing prominence had attracted scores of new developers to the project and we were committing new functionality and fixes faster than we ever had before.

What killed us was “one more thing.” We could have easily done three major releases that year if we had drawn a line in the sand, said “finished,” and shipped the darn thing. The problem is that the longer it’s been since your last release the more pressure and anticipation there is, so you’re more likely to try to slip in just one more thing or a fix that will make a feature really shine. For some projects, this literally goes on forever.

“hey – heres an idea Apple – rather than enter the world of gimmicks and toys, why dont you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive and crap server line up? or are you really aiming to become a glorified consumer gimmicks firm?” — Pants, macrumors.com, 2001

I imagine prior to the launch of the iPod, or the iPhone, there were teams saying the same thing: the copy + paste guys are *so close* to being ready and we know Walt Mossberg is going to ding us for this so let’s just not ship to the manufacturers in China for just a few more weeks… The Apple teams were probably embarrassed. But if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.

A beautiful thing about Apple is how quickly they obsolete their own products. I imagine this also makes the discipline of getting things out there easier. Like I mentioned before, the longer it’s been since the last release the more pressure there is, but if you know that if your bit of code doesn’t make this version but there’s the +0.1 coming out in 6 weeks, then it’s not that bad. It’s like flights from San Francisco to LA, if you miss one you know there’s another one an hour later so it’s not a big deal. Amazon has done a fantastic job of this with the Kindle as well, with a new model every year.

Usage is like oxygen for ideas. You can never fully anticipate how an audience is going to react to something you’ve created until it’s out there. That means every moment you’re working on something without it being in the public it’s actually dying, deprived of the oxygen of the real world. It’s even worse because development doesn’t happen in a vacuum — if you have a halfway decent idea, you can be sure that there are two or three teams somewhere in the world that independently came up with it and are working on the same thing, or something you haven’t even imagined that disrupts the market you’re working in. (Think of all the podcasting companies — including Ev Williams’ Odeo — before iTunes built podcasting functionality in.)

By shipping early and often you have the unique competitive advantage of hearing from real people what they think of your work, which in best case helps you anticipate market direction, and in worst case gives you a few people rooting for you that you can email when your team pivots to a new idea. Nothing can recreate the crucible of real usage.

You think your business is different, that you’re only going to have one shot at press and everything needs to be perfect for when Techcrunch brings the world to your door. But if you only have one shot at getting an audience, you’re doing it wrong.

After the debacle of the 2.0 -> 2.1 lost year of 2006 the WordPress community adopted a fairly aggressive schedule of putting a major release out 3 times a year, and we stuck to it fairly well although in 2009-2010 we’ve slacked a bit, falling into the “one more thing” mentality again. But more fundamentally it’s still shrink-wrap software, which means that updates burden its users in some way so we have to spread them out.

That’s why I love working on web services and pretty much everything Automattic focuses on is a service. On WordPress.com we deploy code to production twenty or thirty times a day and anyone in the company can do it. We measure the deploy time to hundreds of servers and if it gets too slow (more than 30-60 seconds) we figure out a new way to optimize it. In that short rapid iteration environment the most important thing isn’t necessarily how perfect code is when you send it out, but how quickly you can revert if you need to so the cost of a mistake is really low, under a minute of brokenness. Someone can go from idea to working code to production and more importantly real users in just a few minutes and I can’t imagine any better form of testing.

“Real artists ship.” — Steve Jobs, 1983

A version 1.0 of this essay appeared in the book Do More Faster. I should also note that Automattic is always hiring.

262 thoughts on “1.0 Is the Loneliest Number

  1. “if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.”

    I’ve been sitting on something far too long, waiting for it to be better. I’m taking this as a HUGE HINT. 😀

  2. I couldn’t agree more, Matt!

    Years back I worked for a software company that held up a software release for more than a year before I finally left and then still hadn’t shipped the new version many, many years later. The longer it went, they would run in to new issues (Windows updated versions being a big issue for them). It was well past embarrassing.

    There is no substitute for real-world feedback.

  3. A great entrepreneur once told me that “an idea without execution is worthless.” We can have the latest greatest widget in the back room on a sketch pad, but until we actually build it, ship it, and let the idea see the light of day, it has no value.

    It also won’t get any better.

    Fantastic long-post, Matt. And great reminder to those of us with several dusty ideas in the back room waiting on that “one more thing …”

  4. All true Matt, though I think there should be a different set of shipping philosophies for hardware versus software. Version updates for software don’t consume more raw materials to produce, don’t cause the ‘bleeding edgers’ to throw out their old hardware just to have the latest gadget, don’t generate whole new peripheral product ecosystems.

    A pluggable architecture for hardware would be interesting space to explore. Want FaceTime for a 3GS? Just buy the replacement camera kit and update to iOS4. That would reduce the amount of environmental impact of each new hardware release, reduce the amount of redundant purchases, and provide customers with the same level of capability. Of course, it would also (potentially) reduce Apple’s profits and for a corporation beholden to its’ stakeholders, that’s a non-starter :/

    1. I haven’t seen a hardware platform yet that incorporated plugins in its core the way software can — I’m not sure if it’s possible. Having software be more frequently updated, though, can breathe new life into an old device, as we’ve seen with several iOS and Android updates. I can’t wait for a day when it’s like Chrome, constantly updating in the background.

      1. As long as we don’t have to wade through “Install Update” boxes, and change of terms agreements as you’re about to answer a phone call 🙂

        Chrome does it great!

      2. What about cameras, Matt? I use my 50mm EF f/1.4 lens on my Canon Rebel XTi, but I can also use it on any Canon EOS camera back to 1987. That is sort of like plugins for hardware.

      3. Yes, hardware can never be as pluggable as software, which is why your article works for software like WordPress but not things like iPhones, where releasing early and often == ripping-off customers. That said, hardware can be a hell of a lot more pluggable than Apple make it. Simple things like not being able to replace batteries or upgrade storage are exactly why I will never buy an iPhone; for me, it’s too expensive a device to just throw away if it turns out that they released too early, or too often.

      4. That was my first handheld device and I loved it, but you couldn’t argue that it was an integrated experience the way the iPhone is — think a Good Devices MP3 player vs iPod functionality, OmniSky vs integrated 3G, or the camera thing vs camera thing.

        I think hardware expansion can work well when you’re adding one thing, as in the camera and lens example above. When you start to add or switch out multiple things, you start to run into integration or dependency issues.

      5. The Desktop computer is an example that comes to mind for me, though it doesn’t stay constantly updated in the background and requires some know how to update. It would be nice for it to be truly plug and play though.

      6. Certainly in the industrial automation world there have been some moves to modularise certain products such that are both expansable and upgradeable (so, you can add-on, for example, the wireless module later; or you could replace an existing module if it was faulty or a version with more I/O came out etc. As opposed to the cost and effort of ripping the whole thing out).

        Great article. Should be printed out and included in every new dev/product managers induction pack 🙂

    2. Jamie, PCs (and Macs to some extent) have been expansible (almost) from the start and it seems to have worked out quite well. The trouble with smaller form factors, like smartphones and tables, is that everything’s packaged too tightly. Modularity takes space (connectors et al), so it would be difficult.

      There’s also a question of compatibility and reliability. Once you start designing with some sort of “plug and play” in mind, compromises have to be made. Performance takes a hit. Reliability becomes an issue. That’s fine on software, because, like Matt said, fixes can be only hours away. On hardware, though, it’s trickier than that…

    3. Part of this is a direct function of the consumer market and the resultant focus on schedule to hit key dates like Christmas, back to school, graduation, etc.

      Missing those dates lets you competitors have new product while you’re stuck with last year’s stuff. That can affect the bottom line in a big way.

      It’s a real discipline to maintain the schedule. It requires flexibility in planning and architecture. It requires a strong set of priorities for each release and a strict set of quality benchmarks before something ships.

      For boutique products, you can relax this somewhat (e.g. AppleTV).

      For unique and breakthrough products and if you have stellar marketing, you can create your own schedule because you create your own frenzy (e.g. iPad). Once the product is routine, this ability might change (e.g. iPad2).

      For commercial products, there is a similar cadence required but based on a different set of dates (e.g. fiscal year or quarter boundaries, vacation season that limits purchaser attention).

  5. Great post. It couldn’t be more spot-on. Too many projects die before they ever see the light of day. Or by the time they are finally released, they’re already moot. It takes a lot of confidence to release a product that’s only 90% finished. Those who can — and who keep working forward from there — are the real winners in business.

  6. I love all the quotes about the original Ipod interspersed in this post.

    I also love this quote from you, “if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.”

    Very inspirational.

  7. What idiots like Apple “fanboys” fail to understand is that Apple is a company the employs the market skimming pricing strategy to the letter. Its a textbook example. Release often, make next release have a few features that make it worth switching, price high in beginning, price low after new version. Its nothing but a strategy. No iteration of their product has been so revolutionary that they had to have a complete new release for it. Perhaps the iPhone 4 is an exception since a lot of time passed since the first iPhone. iPhone 3G, give me a break, phones in 2005 had 3G; 3GS, lol.

    1. The second you invoked the phrase “Fanboys” you lost credibility. Might want to look into that.

    2. Your premise doesn’t hold up. And your “fanboy” bigotry is TIRED.

      Even though Apple makes incremental improvements every year, these are 2-year-lifespan devices. most people buy every other model. They get a huge number of functional improvements when they upgrade, and it costs very little.

      There was no GSM 3G network in the US in 2007 when the US-only original iPhone shipped. It would have been a waste to include 3G. The Apple/AT&T agreement caused that 3G network to be built for future phones. Adding 3G and GPS the next year for a worldwide release was eminently practical, but it did not make me upgrade my 2-year-lifespan original iPhone until 3GS, which for a very low cost (sold my original 8GB for $210, bought 3GS 32GB for $299) gave me 2x speed, 2x memory, 4x storage, 3G, GPS, auto-focus camera, camcorder, voice control, and more. Plenty to upgrade for. And by then the 3G network in the US had been built out for 2 years, including 1 year of iPhone 3G, so I got great 3G everywhere.

      The same on the Mac: the Mac has a 3-year-lifespan (1 year warranty plus 2 additional years of AppleCare) and they ship an upgrade every 8 months or so, so you only buy every 5th model. The first upgrade after your model may only have 2x the memory and 1.5x the storage, but 36 months later you buy a replacement machine that is improved in every way. MacBook Pro 13-inch buyers right now are getting Unibody, chiclet keyboard, 4x the memory, 2x the storage, LED backlighting, higher resolutions, improved MagSafe, 2-3x the battery life, updated OS, faster busses, faster Bluetooth, updated iLife, and even lower price point over their 13-inch notebook purchase 3 years ago.

      I don’t know how you argue with Apple’s success when so much tech just sucks. So many empty promises, so much “coming soon” that never does. I think the premise of Matt’s article is spot on and Apple is a great example of just relentlessly improving your product and MERCILESSLY shipping those improvements. Everyone at Apple is waking and sleeping on that clock, they know they have to ship again soon, they are improving and shipping like taking steps left, right, then left, right, making steady progress.

    3. Matt – great read, good inspiration.

      ANON – if you chose to wait until the 3GS release then the feature set, stability, battery life, and ergonomics all hit a high point. High frequency of change/refinement is pure joy to late adopters.

      HAMRAN begins to detail out how difficult great innovation is to accomplish. Difficult as it is, Apple continues to lead the pack.

      Sounds like sour grapes ANON.

  8. Just wondering Matt, do you think the One More Thing syndrome is more common in Open-Source projects versus proprietary systems or does it not matter? My guess would be that it’s more of a problem in open source thanks to more contributors and perhaps a less than stringent policy on what goes into the core. With closed systems, there is more control and perhaps tightening of release schedules. I think that mostly correlates to the different ways in which both systems operate in terms of development.

    1. In traditional companies I think it’s balanced out by executive and marketing constraints, that can serve as a checks and balances system against the product inclination to always have one more thing. Open Source has to be particularly vigilant because contributors can stake their contributions on “15 pixels of fame” or their pet feature being included in the core distribution, which 20% of the time is awesome and 80% of the time should probably be in an extension or not exist at all.

    1. I would argue that they learned that the market wasn’t ready or that the product was a good fit way ahead of when a less agile company would have.

      1. I agree. I work in a tech-savvy office and we adopted Wave right away to connect our geographically-scattered staff, sorry to see it go. We’ve been looking for an alternative, would be a great thing to add to WordPress for logged-in users… :^)

  9. I’m also a perfectionist. One would think that to be A Good Thing for developers, but in the real world it doesn’t turn out that way. Getting carried away by One More Thing is so damn tempting there should be a Commandment about it.

    I still haven’t found a way to defeat One More Thing Syndrome. Reading articles on this topic by 37signals, Seth Godin and now Matt really helps, though. It gets me in the mood for whipping out the Scope Hammer and just shipping the next update on my own project.

    In short, thanks Matt.

    1. Note that, perfectionism in no way implies “one more thing”…

      Maybe “completionist” is the word…

    2. One kind of perfectionism demands minimalism and clarity and robustness in a tool. This perfectionism is brutal about eliminating extra features.

  10. That was a truly inspring post Matt. I love your (written) voice – it’s always so positive and optimistic without being naive to truths that exist amidst daily living. Your optimism is infectious and wholly necessary on a web that sometimes feels as if it survives only on negative energy. Thank you for this Matt.

  11. I found it interesting that you chose to open with Apple as an example for this, since almost every new product they shipped in recent years had some kind of hardware issue associated with it 🙂

    1. I think I’ve owned every one of the devices and for the most part I feel their issues are largely overblown, it’s a function of the conflict-driven technology media cycle that needs an unparalleled success (the iPhone 4) to be coupled with an Achilles heel (supposedly the death grip).

    2. I would love it if you’d tell me which hardware vendor is shipping devices with zero issues or with better quality than Apple so I can start buying gear from them, too.

  12. I love this concept. I tell all of my clients to follow it. It’s like Nike says, “Just Do It.” I can’t tell you how many clients sit in limbo trying to perfect their “baby” and that baby is never born.

    Thanks for this article.

  13. There’s a difference between shipping something differentiated, stable but missing a few seldom used features and shipping poorly tested, buggy crap that lacks differentiation. Also, Apple doesn’t ship 1.0 for the sake of user feedback. They ship to win with 1.0.

    Confuse your 1.0 product ship strategy with Apple’s at your own peril.

      1. And that is what is truly impressive about companies like Apple. The higher you go, the harder you fall. Especially for a public corporation with shareholders, the pressure to nail it on first release is immense.

  14. I still agree with Walt Mossberg, I can’t believe Windows Phone 7 was released without copy and paste.

  15. Couldn’t agree more. This is a great mantra to develop by.

    I recently learned this lesson when I fell victim to the ‘one more thing’ mentality with BuddyPress 1.2.6. One of our longer development cycles since 1.0, I kept trying to fix more and more bugs, and as time went on users became more anxious for improvements so I kept fixing more bugs instead of accepting it was much improved over the last release.

    Eventually I came to my senses, shipped 1.2.6, and brought on Paul and Boone help slap me with a trout if I ever try to pull that stunt again.

    Lesson learned and I have no intentions of being trouted. 🙂

  16. I had the same thought as Jamie did above. In my perfect world, each new model of hardware wouldn’t be a brand-new product, but a mostly recycled product — making use of all the old components as much as possible, rather than ending up in an unregulated toxic e-waste dump site.

  17. “Shipping” is important but its not that important. Iteration is important, but its not that important. Sometimes people confuse whether a company CAN ship at all with whether it should be shipping.

    Every place that I have worked where the mentality you describe is in practice, is pretty much a disaster.

    What we are really trying to account for is impatience in ourselves and in others as to why software takes so damn long. Well, too bad, the good stuff does.

    And as far as the iPhone I have had 6 of them, and the gen 1 which I still use since I got rid of the 3G the 3gs and the 4 is the most refined of them in form factor, build quality and is only a bit slower than the others.

    In the case of the iPhone 4 yes they made alot of money, but it was a bad decision to ship, they just had no choice.

  18. “But if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.”

    Not sure if I agree with that, if you release a product you are embarrassed about doesn’t that tarnish your name for all future releases? Apple’s 1st gen products are no embarrassment when compared to the crap put out there by lesser manufacturers.

    1. The point I was trying to make is that compared to the creator, all critics are amateurs. When you make something, if you care about it, you know its shortcomings at a level far above anyone else could ever imagine, and so there’s a stronger temptation to try to preempt every possible problem by building more, and more, and more. See my example of copy and paste above, or the 1G versus the 3GS (which was almost certainly under development when the 1G shipped).

      1. I agree with you that being a creator, you would know the shortcomings of the creation far better than anyone. But I think that it’s only true at the very start, at the idea and initial development. Once it ships, even if it is only to a beta audience, a creator can come to realize shortcomings that they really did not anticipate. And thats the beauty of user feedback 🙂

        Great read.

  19. Great piece Matt. I have often suffered from toiling on something until I felt it was perfect. In the meantime, people are waiting and anxious to see something you may only consider “good.” I once had a boss admonish me with the following words,

    “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough.”

    That stuck with me, and your piece is a great, and quite timely, reminder.

  20. The major stumbling block of innovation is the “need for more and right now”.

    Jobs might be the CEO of Consumer Electronics, but the proverbial efficiency machine theory leads me to believe that Apple is more focused on haphazard trinkets that bud into serious gadgets only for the sake of turning over an immediate profit.

    Value and service inherently garner profitability, but mass manufacturing will always lead to a decrease in value… it’s inevitable.

    Maybe Apple will continue to be the President of the “Flavor of the Month” club, or possibly take a stand and focus more on software to consistently enhance their products?

    There has to be a healthy compromise in-between: building reusable hardware that is profitable to corporations, yet has the ability to evolve over time while reducing the environmental impact and carbon footprint.

    With Apple it’s still all about instant gratification and eye candy.

    1. This is incredibly deep. I’m going to give up the trinkets and gimcrackery and go back to using what was the last real computer before we all became hypnotized by shiny objects: a 286 running DOS. Maybe I’ll use DR DOS just to be rebellious and indie.

    2. So what you’re saying is software that has 1 million users is less valuable than software that has 1000 users?

      Most of an iPhone is carrier service. the second-biggest component is software that is updated for free for 3 years. The third-biggest component is a battery with a 2 year lifespan, after which it won’t hold a charge. Fourth is a single chip with the entire computer in it, which after 2 years has a much better successor available for $10, less than 1% of a year’s carrier service. Fifth is storage, which after 2 years you can get 4x as much in the same space and same price, and user’s needs go up that fast also. Wireless “n” obsoleted iPhone 2G/3G/3GS networking hardware. Everything else gets worn out after 2 years from use.

      You can wear a shirt only so many times before it’s done. Swapping your iPhone hardware every 2 years and having your data and apps and so on seamlessly move to the new device is extremely REUSABLE. Yes, it’s consumers. That is who consumes phones. Consumers bring the prices down for business. Compare the $2000 tablets UPS uses with a $499 consumer iPad that is a thousand times more powerful.

      If you like, you can consider my original iPhone to iPhone 3GS upgrade 2 years later to be replacement components, not a full replacement, because the software and data had continuity. A month after I got the 3GS I thought I was on month 25 of the original. So if it helps to imagine that I had the 8GB storage pulled and 32GB put in, and ARM chip swapped out for a new one, and camera swapped out for a new one, and battery replaced, and so on, then go ahead and do that. The end result is the same. It’s just cheaper and easier to pull all the hardware components at once and replace with an already assembled 3GS that runs all my same data and apps.

  21. Hey Matt, thanks for that thoughtful article. It’s sometimes hard to find that balance between good enough and not quite.

    Especially for a perfectionist.

    To quote Voltaire, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

    Good work!

  22. I agree with your sentiment completely (and wish I embodied it more often). But I think I’d finesse one of your statements:

    “If you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.”

    Yes, but you still need to get the foundation of the idea crisp and clear, and cut away any and all distractions that sacrifice its original integrity.

    A 1.0 can help teach you which parts of your execution are extraneous, but without a clear, precise sense of what it is you’re trying to do, or how you aim to change the world, I think the consequence is that you may end up being shaped more by the critics than by inspiration, understanding, and design.

    There’s harmony that can be achieved in such a process, but I think that the foundation must be sound in order to let other build upon it.

    1. Doing otherwise results in something like a Cadillac Cimmaron.

      Which should have never shipped.

  23. “But if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.”

    Isn’t that a quote from Reid Hoffman?

    1. Not consciously, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he said it first — he’s been in this a lot longer! This whole essay is a passive amalgamation between ideas by Paul Graham, Eric Ries, Joel Spolsky, a bunch of iPod launch quotes I grabbed for a talk a few years ago, and my personal experience with WordPress and leading that community.

  24. Great article, motivation to get my products out faster. Love this…

    “But if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.”

  25. On iPod release day, here was the reaction at MacCentral…

    – “I still can’t believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player?”

    – “All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distiortion Field is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.”

    – “Better bring that price down or you wont sell any of these babies”

    1. Love it! It’d be interesting to track down some of the same folks now, or just do a rolling 2-3 year review of tech pundit predictions and reviews.

  26. I’ve been a proponentof regularly scheduled software ship dates for a long time. If you slide so feature A can get in the programmers working on features B and C will try to slip in their features and it just snowballs. The discipline of fixed release dates prevents this.

  27. I think Zuckerberg must have a very similar philosophy. It’s impressive how aggressive Facebook changes their service, often right before its users’ eyes (well at least between logins) and sometimes against their users’ wishes.

  28. Interesting post, great idea… but, and this is not indicative of WordPress or Apple. The road is littered with the remains of the ship it now types, that put everything they have into the ship date, then nothing afterward. If there is no budget or commitment to improvements, this entire model goes out the window… luckily, you have the vision and finances to make it ‘real’.

  29. I loved reading this in Do More Faster and it’s a joy to read it again for a broader audience. Why not keep the original title, “Usage is like oxygen for ideas” ? It’s a lot stronger.

    1. 1. I didn’t have a copy of the book handy so I forgot the original title.
      2. The opportunity to make a joke was too strong.
      3. I try to avoid punchlines from the essay in the title, so it’s not anti-climatic when you finally get to it.

  30. I’m a huge fan, consumer and believer in all things WP. I’ve been with you – literally from the beginning – but that is just talk! My big question how do you let it all go – personal pride aside – That’s my big issue. Knowing that there is something bigger and better waiting in the wings, how do you give yourself permission to push out good enough for now? Again, I’m not criticizing, I’m just being genuine. I want / would love to know!

    1. Pretty much the only way you can do it is if you know another release is around the corner, so it’s not that bad to trim the scope for this one.

      1. Right. It’s like ‘good enough’ has a half life and what is good enough today may only last a week. Or a month or 6 months. But at some point good enough simply won’t be good enough anymore and will have to be replaced by the next release.

  31. “I like Apple for the opposite reason: they’re not afraid of getting a rudimentary 1.0 out into the world.”

    I would rephrase your comment saying that the “rudimentary” that you cite is in “the number of features,” not in the quality of the product.

    IMO, the main point on Apple’s products is to get the best user experience. But the tech media likes to speak of features and specs.

    And with respect to the “ship frequently,” Apple releases an iPhone/iPod once a year, laptops are longer (except for speed bumps), the iPad is in the same range. Mac OS X is in the “almost two years” cycle.

    The other point in Apple’s line is focus: while Apple releases one phone a year, Motorola releases 117 (cited from Gruber).

  32. I wouldn’t bucket all software into this strategy. Only software that can fail and rebound in the eye of the consumer.

    For example, I wouldn’t ship a 1.0 CT scanner software controller that was imperfect. Nor would I ship a half baked database update or OS update. Some things can’t fail. You need to iterate until it’s as close to perfect as one can get before release. Upgrading is tough, expensive, costly. Failure isn’t an option.

    But for most consumer products, and things that aren’t mission critical… there’s a concept of “good enough”, and that’s what. iPad, WordPress are great examples. For WordPress, updates are quick and easy to roll out, low overhead, and there’s very few businesses (other than wordpress.com) that are critically dependent on WordPress. A bug won’t put it out of business.

    In the case of WordPress, users also have complete access to the source and can patch themselves if they are impatient. User competency is high, user control is high. (damn I love open source).

    In the case of Mac OS X, an unclear dialog could cause someone to delete an important file. An incorrect pointer could cause crashes. You can’t release until it’s right. Apple was right for slowing OS releases. It wasn’t benefiting anyone. The number of people hitting big bugs until 10.x.5 was damaging to their reputation of stability.

    Sometimes I think people confuse the two cases. Iterating faster is only good when risk tolerance is accommodating and the ability to continue iteration is strong. Otherwise slower iteration is in your best interest.

    For WordPress, faster iteration is undoubtedly better. For other projects… I’d question the approach.

    1. Glad someone brought this up. I was reading the comments thinking that it’s all well and good in the consumer, non-critical realm, but I’ve been developing medical software for a long time and (unfortunately) releasing early and often is just not an option. For one, in the US medical software has to be cleared by the FDA, and this is not a process you want to embark on every six months (even though you don’t need to go through a full application every time, the amount of regulatory work quickly becomes a massive deterrent).

      I’ve seen plenty of platforms (i.e., medical workstations) that could have used an update but instead have remained untouched for years just because companies cannot afford to make drastic changes for regulatory and user-(re)training reasons.

      The bottom line is that right now I’ve been working on a project for the past 9 months, and it’s not quite ready but as the project leader I strive to strike down feature creep. We have deployed a version for research use, which does give us the “oxygen” feedback that is indeed so necessary, while we work on completing the feature set to what we think is a reasonable 1.0. Will it be perfect? No. Will be we ashamed of it? I hope not.

    2. Agreed. Thanks for saying this; I work in an industry that can afford zero down time, and being ’embarrassed’ about 1.0 means never releasing 1.1.

      If you’re making an MP3 player, good on ya, but if your making software or devices that keep people in business, safe, or alive, this isn’t a good policy.

  33. Many people look to make a difference they could make at 1 Infinite Loop. Personally, I look at how I may make a difference along Bubb Road. This of course, if it existed on Google Maps.

    Perhaps my priorities are not in order, but it’s worked in the past.

    Maybe what I need to do is buy a burrito cart, move to Cupertino, and start sharing my story of working for Microsoft and AT&T THAT way…

  34. Wonderful article. Some thing that provokes a lot of thought…

    Can’t there be a balance between right enough and perfection? Or, the right enough version can be distributed among the more tech savvy users and the perfected product can be reserved for everyone else.

    For example, look at Linux Mint. I was using Ubuntu till I updated one fine day to find that there were few problems with the display after an upgrade! So, based on a friends feedback i shifted to Linux Mint. What they say is simple : Do not upgrade till you are absolutely sure that you want to. And for each of the upgrade package, they release a stability rating and we can selectively upgrade only the stable packages. Or not upgrade at all! – Think about how useful such a strategy is for new (non tech) Linux users!

    As for the testing and feedback, they still get them from the more enthusiastic (read: tech savvy) users who would love to check out newer versions and report bugs.

    I find this to be an excellent strategy. It sort of has the twin advantages of getting your products tested as well as not bothering the newer (non tech savvy) users with it.

  35. As the developer of a top App in the App Store (Calvetica), I can vouch 100% for the truth of this article. This has been the one thing that has really set us apart from our competitors in the store. Our customers feel like we’re genuinely responding to them (we are) and we’re able to get the product perfect but with the help of the market.

    The other nice thing that happens is that when you release more often, customers are more forgiving if you release with bugs because they know they’re going to be fixed quickly.

    It’s a good place to be.

  36. I kinda like models where feature-creep is kept to an absolute minimum. Even one feature at a time. I do like when that one feature works so well it brings joy to the user. But again, not every consideration can be taken into account at design/development time. So I think “Just Ship It” reigns.

    At least until we start coding platforms into new biology. Then it could get messy. Especially with security.

  37. You quote “Pants” as saying: “hey – heres an idea Apple – rather than enter the world of gimmicks and toys, why dont you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive and crap server line up?”

    Well, Pants did have a point. Some people (like me!) want Apple to make a decent server. I deal with computers and electronics all day long, and consumer desktops are no longer the weak link. I’d like to have a decent server. Commercial Unix is all but dead, Windows servers are a pain to work with, and Linux isn’t exactly setting the world on fire because of its design.

    The answer to Pants’ question came 9 years later: last Friday, Apple declared that they’ll stop selling XServes (their only remaining server hardware) in January. I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time until Mac OS X Server suffers the same fate. I guess they just don’t want to any more.

    Truth be told, the 3gen iPhone/iPod was pretty good. I’d rather have a great Unix server from Apple today, than the 4gen iPhone. Of course, given the relative size of the markets, that would have meant less money for Apple. It doesn’t mean it’s not legit to complain about, though. 🙁

  38. This is so true, an agressive release cycle brings a lot of benifits, one of them beeing more user feedback as you go along.
    I’ve taken this to the extreme in my spare time project http://obsurvey.com. I’ve streamlined the release process, and build custom automated tools, so I can release in a couple of minutes. A couple of times users have requested features and I’ve implemented and released them the same day. So far I’ve made 279 releases of obsurvey the last 3 years.
    When I find bugs, I fix most of them and release the same day.
    I’m not saying that everyone needs to do as I do, but I like beeing able to do it, it’s a fun way to work.

  39. As time has gone by I’ve sort of stopped working for perfection until I release a web project to the masses. The feedback I get and perhaps more importantly the constant stress of fixing stuff when things are live and everyone can see your mistakes make the projects evolve more quickly than if I just tinker with them in a closed environment.

  40. Great post. What I completely agree with is that the perfectionist needs to recognize that she will almost always find shipping uncomfortable. She needs to make peace with that. Waiting until she feels comfortable because there are no more flaws will never work.

    A friend of mine helped me recognize how crazy I can get around ‘shipping anxiety’ anxiety when she pointed out that I appeared to believe: if it’s not perfect, it’s of no value.

    More about this in a short essay on perfectionism in my 1.0 shipped iOS app Obliquely Productive. (Or read it here: http://homepage.mac.com/matthew_elton/extra-help//obliquely/essays/perfect.html ).

  41. I ran into this article just at the right time as we are also dealing with the problem of how many features to include into our first release.

    Following the Customer Development process and applying it to the sector of web services, maybe the focus should be more on production iteration than features.

  42. When we’re talking about software, shipping early and often is absolutely a great thing.

    But when we’re talking about hardware, with its *massive* environmental impact, rapid obsolescence shows how darned irresponsible we all are, as manufacturers and consumers. The speed at which Apple obsolete their own products is their ugly underbelly, to my mind.

    Anyways, your main point, Matt, is about software, and I’m behind you there.

  43. 1.1 can be as bad as 1.0, it’s the loneliest number since the number 1.0.

    If only we could make “shrink-wrap” software updates as easy as web-service updates. Maybe splitting the software into smaller definable pieces or something? Structure plays a big part here, I think.

  44. That is a really nice blog! Great points made, but I do believe that Apple tries to come across as perfectionist, but like you said they are truly outrageous in the products they have produced in the last 10 years. Thanks

  45. Thank you for this post, Matt. I think these ideas apply to just about product on the web. It’s a mental hurdle for some to get over because the web is so relatively new.
    An example that relates to what I do is a small business website. Iterating a website is often a new concept that I find many small business owners struggle with. They still hold onto the idea that version 1 has to be perfect and often delay taking the site live. It’s not like a brochure that you’re going to print x-thousand copies and that’s it.

  46. Pingback: Just Ship It
  47. No mention of Harry Nilsson yet? Well here it is then. Nice Harry Nilsson reference in the title. 😀

    Who is Harry Nilsson, you say? Fortunately for you, the documentary of his life was just released on DVD. It’s called Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? It’s available from Amazon and it’s on Netflix.

    Nilsson wrote “One (is the loneliest number)”, even though Three Dog Night made it famous. You’d be surprised at how well you know Nilsson’s music even if you’ve never heard of him.

    Oh also, good article.

    1. You wouldn’t by any chance be Harry’s SON Zak, would you? If so, good to see you still on cyberspace after all these years! And glad to see the documentary finally came out… It’s seemingly been in limbo so long, I was worried I’d NEVER get a chance to see it. Coincidentally, I just added it to the top of my Netflix instant queue yesterday, ready to watch tonight. 🙂

  48. Now, if they could just apply all that genius to improving customer service… which doesn’t need to sit in a back room until components come down in price. It just means honoring your promises to replace lemons when they’re truly lemons…

  49. I had this discussion yesterday. Someone was cautioning me to sit on my brilliant idea, and not talk about it with anyone. She’s an old school marketer, I like using the Facebook. She was thinking that perfecting the idea, is more important than the getting the word out.

    We argued pointlessly, and then went our separate ways.

    And now today Seth Godin suggests reading your blog.

    Needless to say.

  50. As a detail-type person, I certainly can identify with the mental constipation of getting it “just right” before you ship.

    Programming, however, is an iterative art, and nightly builds are waaay to slow, sort of like a batch job on an old mainframe. I loved the design-code-test-fix cycle of personal computers. Is the collaborative cycle of under a minute to deploy the “next big thing?”

  51. Too late is always late. Some people use perfection as an excuse to never get anything done. You are right, we definitely need to let go of things, put them out there, get some real world feedback, and make some real world changes to improve.

  52. There’s an old saying in my biz: “Software is never finished, just pried from the unwilling hands of the engineers.”

    Even though I am an engineer first and foremost, I understand the wisdom therein.

    == Ross-a-roni ==

  53. Sometimes it’s better to delay a release so you don’t have to deal with backwards compatibility issues later. Let’s say you have version 1.0 of a WordPress plugin almost ready, but you haven’t figured out how to serialize the options array. Would it be better to release it now or figure out how to make the options into an array and release it a couple days late? I think a couple days late would be better, because then you’d never have to deal with v1.0 users who upgrade.

    1. You caught me — on data structures I usually try to think through the possibilities and plan for expansion, for example how WP’s posts table is structured to hold lots of types of data. However I try to temper this with knowing it always changes. 🙂

      1. I agree Matt! I like how the wp_posts table contains a lot of columns with data about each post, but wp_postmeta is still there for extra metadata. Some CMS’s would put almost everything about each post in a table like wp_postmeta, but that makes the data harder to work with, at least for me (I’m not a programming expert like you).

  54. There is also a military version of the ‘ship it!’ school.
    To paraphrase Patton: “A good plan now is better than a perfect plan hatched from within the walls of a prisoner-of-war camp”.
    A step-change from Apple and Steve Jobs, but the intention is the same…

  55. Interesting post. Don’t you think that Apple got the benefit of doubt because of their brand? Having done great things in the past does give you some leverage.

    Sometime, rudimentary 1.0 versions might lead a lot of your possible customers to stick with similar existing decent vendors or figure out other vendors. Just trying to think aloud.

    Thank you! for the great post.

  56. Great post.

    I so agree… many people keep their ideas & their creations to themselves for far too long fearing the criticism and that they are “not good enough.”

    There is a balance between good enough and needs more improvement.

    things naturally evolve and improve, but not unless the idea or product is put out into the world and allow to be improved.

  57. Your words helped me… “if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long…”

    I recently launched few services in early stage. I was criticized for being unprofessional sometimes but now a link to this article would be my best defense! hehe 🙂

  58. Great post.
    The ‘one more thing’ mentality is a killer…

    And what exacerbates it is multiple teams working independently on the same release. Team a neads 2 more days to finish feature x, so team b foolishly starts working on feature y, which turns out to need longer than 2 days, so they are still working after Team a is finished. So team a picks up another story… and so on.

    Someone needs to draw the line in the sand and ship it.

  59. NO amount of research and testing can take the place of real world users feeding back. I am a fan of soft launching to early adopters to get the bugs out then getting louder about things once you have the offer right.

  60. Ah, very inspiring Matt,

    I am trapped in that “one more thing” mentality because I do care about my product so much; but reading this, I realize It won’t grow to be a good product if it doesn’t receive any feedback from the mass.

  61. Very well written. Just remember 1st to market often creates the market but it never dominates the market. See Yahoo. Netscape. Apple…yes Apple. It does not own Smart phones anymore. Droid is out shipping by 2-1. Tablets? It won’t own that either. Apple knows all this. The only market it ever owned was the MP3 player. BUT it doesn’t care. If it always owns 50% of the upper 20% of the market it wins every time with great sales numbers, huge margins, and massive profits.

  62. Outstanding perspective here Matt. Thank you.

    I did a post on my blog recently about NOT WAITING ON PERFECTION. I think perfection is the old way of thinking because if we’re innovating then perfection never exists. It’s constantly changing.

    It’s the now the Economy of Action.

  63. “One more thing” inevitably turns into five more things and if you’re not careful, ten more after that. The worst “one more thing” examples are the “what if” games that are so easy to play. When you start trying to think of all the things that potential users are going to say when they interact with your product instead of just getting it out the door to get real world feedback. Excellent post.

  64. Thanks for this Matt. Excellent post!

    It is so easy to tie your self-worth to a project, needing it to be perfect or they will make fun of you. The ability to divorce yourself from your work to a certain extent is critical to be able to enjoy the benefits of shipping early.

    Thanks again, I needed the reminder.

  65. This is great. I think I’ve read 100 blog posts this week and this is my first time here. Well done, your article is right on and something that I have needed to confront with a project I have stopped and started too many times in the last few years, always questioning how it was coming. Lately I’ve been thinking I just need to run with it and if it’s not perfect it will still have value and help people. Thank you.

  66. Absolutely brilliant !

    Glad I’m reading Seth’s Blog, otherwise I would have missed your post…

  67. “if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.”

    That’s music to my ears – which are red hot with embarrassment much of the time 😉

  68. About 5 years ago I’d agree with the concept of people not being open to different ideas… However after starting my company I’ve noticed that consumers are more “open” to new ideas.

    When I hear investors talk about creating the “next iPod,” I don’t think they mean creating an MP3 player. What is being communicated is creating a product that people don’t know they need yet and probably won’t understand until the product starts catching on with mass consumers.

    1.0 is kind of scary but unless your brand is known for fixing things quick you have to commit to getting to 2.0 and then 3.0. The problem I’ve seen in consumer electronics is that now 1.0 get’s more open acceptance, but it’s more important that 1.0 is right. Otherwise there is no 2.0. (the only exception I’ve seen is making a new 1.0 from a new brand using 2.0 technology from the first brand)

  69. Great, brilliant post.

    I should only add that Steve Jobs’ not just one illuminated guy that was born wizard. Actually he learned the lesson the hard way: After outsted by Apple, he went on to build Next, which shipped kind of much too late, disconnected form the environment.

    The good thing is that he learned the lesson. And it shows every day now.

    That’s what I call “learning”.


  70. Matt, this is wonderful. I’m glad you decided to go ahead and ship the post.

    It’s also personally very applicable to me this week, as I have a small reading on Wednesday night, and I’ve been terrified of presenting my too-personal, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time piece. But you’re right. There will be other readings, other audiences, and there’s no real point on sitting on a piece when I could be getting feedback.

  71. “A beautiful thing about Apple is how quickly they obsolete their own products”

    The beautiful thing is,Apple does it without making people cry. Android is launching 2-3 release every year, and the media are so angry with “fragmentation” and such.

  72. “A beautiful thing about Apple is how quickly they obsolete their own products.”

    WTF? Beautiful? This is PURE MARKETING. There is nothing beautiful about fleecing customers and creating false desires. This is truly an indicator of how deeply the ‘sheep’ mentality has been ingrained in Apple customers.

    Apple do not have a monopoly on good ideas – in fact they are notorious for copying those of others. The fact that it is nothing but marketing that gets them so far is just reiterating that Apple owners have been conned.

  73. Brilliant article and relevant.

    I’m developing my first software and the experience (as a non-programmer) has been daunting in comparison to information marketing products or services.

    I will offer a word of caution here though… having seen many programs that were not ready launch.

    After handling the help desk for one such company in the Social Networking software niche not long ago – from that experience, I can assure you that a little “i” dotting and “t” crossiing before launch – some testing and tweaking… is not only prudent, it’s imperitive unless you are a glutton for punishment, exodus of clients and loss of massive industry support and respect.

    For smaller businesses, not Apple size monoliths, alienating a large percentage of your new, trusting, faithful tribe is not a wise idea.

    Apple the brand is well established… imagine buying a simple WP plugin that screws up your entire site from developer “X” and the chances you’ll trust him again are not very high.

    The “Ready, Fire, Aim” folks out there forget that the first word is still “READY.”

    I certainly understand programmers creep… have a case of it right now in fact (along with first software nerves and nightmares of that help desk fiasco after watching a company do it all wrong).

    However, there is something to be said for just developing the CORE or initial launch with absolute quality.

    Leave off some features, fine.

    Discover a few post launch bugs, expected.

    Be 100% there for your buying Tribe when there is a challenge, imperitive.

    Ship garbage that isn’t at the “Ready” stage yet? Just plain sadistic and, in my experience, poor business positioning and planning.

    I am a huge Seth fan and agree 99% with the “Just Ship It” mind-set and approach, because I believe he’s talking about fear, procrastination, apprehension….

    Not quality.

    Shipping an untested, untried, unproven software (or anything else) that has obvious flaws would be like Seth selling his next book with every other page missing.

    If it isn’t ready, it isn’t ready.

    If it’s ready… stop messing with it and SHIP.

    Kinda surprised few others have seen this or commented on this or… am I just missing something here in my reading?

  74. Also… forgot to mention:

    “Real artists ship.”

    I believe its about finishing a product, painting, book, software, etc.

    Not shipping a painting with half the canvas still in primer, a product or book with pages missing, or software with obvious work that still needs to be done to it.

    Sorry to be the contrarian here… but I’ve seen the other side of the coin being pitched at people who’ve been terribly burned by the practice of releasing crap because they were told to “Just get it out there.”

    Balance and a little intelligence I think is important when looking at this.

    Imagine Apple’s audience if it wasn’t just bugs, but instead was no redeaming quality or technology that worked at all? An empty box with a brand name on it?

    That’s the extreme, sure – just haven’t seen much of the balance argued here is all.

    With deep respect…

    1. Steve.
      I think there is an invisible finish line that just needs to be crossed and then….ship.
      The proof is in the pudding. Pure crap is never tolerated, and i dont think Matt is talking about that.
      There will always be ‘devils advocates’ for sure, just dont let it destroy the launch.

  75. The discussion is almost as good as the post.
    I’m in marketing, the department that gives engineers a hard time for shipping too early AND for shipping too late.

    We have the exact same release phobias though, and the need to tweak and polish often leads to lost weeks and months.

    (Planned to review and rewrite this comment but, hey, I can always correct it in a later post).

  76. I’m torn here. On the one hand, acknowledging the Buddhist concept that everything is incomplete goes a long way toward justifying regular releases. But doesn’t this also verge on the unsustainable practice of “planned obsolescence?” (Of course, I speak of objects, not software. We don’t have to worry about old WordPress installs filling up landfills.)

    Does it not in some circumstances behoove us to slow down and do things right the first time (although there’s another Buddhist concept that everything is imperfect…)? Or perhaps we need to come up with better ways to handle the waste produced by this… iterative consumption.

    I’m sounding silly now.

    1. > Does it not in some circumstances
      > behoove us to slow down and do things
      > right the first time

      I’m sure in some circumstances the answer is yes. Brain surgery is probably a good example. 🙂

      However, an important–and perhaps somewhat overlooked–aspect of Matt’s original post was that we *cannot* know how to do it right without real customer feedback. I would even qualify that by adding real *paying* customer feedback, the reason being that paying customers definitely have a different perspective than beta testers.

      == Ross ==

    2. I think you’re spot on, Rachel.

      Turning a blind eye to the environmental damage caused by “planned obsolescence” is understandable, if irresponsible. To idolise planned obsolescence as an art kinda seems like dancing on our own graves to me.

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  78. I love your post. I am taking some very important information away from it which we’ll apply to the initial launch of our product and most likely, future launches as well.

  79. This post is a double-edged sword. It sends the right message overall – to those who are experienced/disciplined enough to know the difference between “embarrassing, but reasonable to ship” and “unstable, unusable crap.”

    Unfortunately, many tech entrepreneurs focus on bells/whistles and not system stability and usability. For them, this article might be a little dangerous.

    In the web app world, for example, a boatload of 500 errors and broken business rules can be fatal for an otherwise wonderful system. (End users are not terribly patient/tolerant, now are they?)

    My advice: Yeah, ship it! But only after you’re certain it meets some basic needs of the intended audience.

  80. We released our Crowdsourcing Social Network “concept” evly.com, a few weeks ago, knowing that it was a VERY EARLY release, and still had problems with the UI/UX and plenty bugs.

    But we knew that the longer we waited, the less chance that we would release at all!

    We received some good comments when we released, but also some SHOCKING comments, from people that didn’t understand our full vision, and didn’t like seeing bugs in their usage.

    Having been through this a number of times in the past, I’m used to this reaction, as I’ve launched software very early on before. However, many of our dev & design team hadn’t, and it’s essential to be able to let them know that the bad comments are expected, especially due to it being such an early release.

    Did we make the right decision launching so early? ABSOLUTELY!

    In addition to real people building crowdsourcing websites with our wizard and builder, which gives us stats & revenue, we’re seeing what people like and don’t like, and are now moving forward with that in mind.

    So I believe that launching early is a good strategy, but try inform your new community that they are “beta testers” or “early adopters” and communicate plenty with your team (especially those who haven’t been involved in an “early launch” before) as there will always be negative comments, no matter how much you try avoid it.

  81. When you meet a girl (or boy) for the first time on a date, you will try to look your best, polishing the merit out of your rotting soul. As dates continue, polishing will become less… but you will never really stop trying to look good.

    As I see it, publications of any kind are just the same. If you don’t make a first, good impression… you’re dependent of others telling others that you aren’t that bad after all.

    Also, if you’re “nice”… the crowd can and will come knocking at your door. That is the time to prove that there’s something that backs the impression you’ve made, or you’re bound to be left alone forever.

  82. I’ve always liked that quote at the end of the article, even if it isn’t exactly true.

    Trying to cultivate that same sort of mentality is why my desktop background says “Ideas are easy – Implementation is hard.” Again, not exactly true, but useful to act like it is.

    1. You’re right, sometimes it’s just necessary to believe something untrue to motivate yourself to do the work you have to do. The important thing is to be able to reverse the belief later. We live in an age of incredible technology and psychology is becoming far more in-depth.

  83. Great post Matt! You hit the nail on the head. I’ve been mulling (no pun…) around with an idea for far too long. Your post was a nice reminder not to allow the perfect to the be the enemy of the good.

  84. “Action, not perfection creates results.” ~ Jane Powell

    I love this quote and I think post is of a similar nature. It is a mantra I try to follow.

    Thanks Matt!

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  86. Hi Ya Matt- I posted a comment here last year, and have thought about ‘usage being oxygen for ideas’. It is a great post you wrote- thanks.

    Increasingly, now I find the challenge is that space between 1.0 and 2.0…dealing with the embarrassment of the imperfection with little incremental improvements, but finding more challenge in how to make the leap to 2.0 (either through repurposing or better design).

    I had one initiative stall at the end of last year, and about to relaunch today- coming back to this post was great inspiration. Thanks!

    Matt Jones
    Social Alchemy

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  88. Great article Matt! Sounds like you’ve got it figured out… Ever read “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing”? great book to read if you haven’t! It’s short and backs up a lot of what you were talking about in this article. Nothing more powerful than line extensions!

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