The Definition of Done

Before we started Idealic, Tuuli and I had come from vastly different environments. Her last employer wanted – perhaps demanded – perfection. After all, they were a high-end design studio, replete with reputation and history, as well as some exacting clients. There is nothing wrong with such an environment but agonizing over minutiae can slow things down and we wanted to move fast.

This prompted our first real conversation: when are things done?

It’s not an easy question to answer for yourself, much less in a group. And, of course, I am not immune to those same trials and tribulations over quality. Quite frankly, I look back over some of my earlier work and it makes me anxious; not because I think it’s bad, but because I think it could be better.

Luckily, it doesn’t matter what I think. I am not the client.

Infinite Fractal

Anxiety afoot

The smartest man I personally know once called me an idiot, and I took it to heart. At the time, I was behind schedule, I was indecisive, and I was angry. The project was not up to my standards, and I had pushed the delivery date further back – twice. He said, and I quote: “Dan, you idiot, the client is expecting a 70 and you’re trying to give them 100. Give them a 71.”

So, the project went out. The client had some notes but was otherwise happy. The days I had spent pushing pixels and selecting similes went unnoticed. Time was wasted but a lesson learned: things are never done and that’s okay.

My quixotic quest for perfection was the roadblock.

 

Good to go

What does all of this have to do with Idealic? I’d like to think that it’s how we’re running the place: if it’s close, push it out. We can always go back and change it. That’s the glory of digital.

If you’re working on a project, striving for that perfect outcome: don’t wait or you’ll never get it out the door. And the only guaranteed way to fail is to do nothing.

As for this blog? Close enough.

 

The best is the enemy of the good.

—Voltaire