Perfect work or Proud of your work

Perfect work.  100%.  Every detail polished.

You look at Apple products and this sort of precision and attention to detail is obvious.  Steve Jobs was a master at the details and he created a company that will carry on (hopefully) his legacy.  For Steve, there was very little gap between a perfect product and one that he was proud of.  100% for perfect and maybe 99% for proud. (Maybe not even that.)

For me, there is a gap.  If I wasn’t proud of the work we ship, I would be unhappy all of the time.  I don’t want to be miserable all of the time.  Therefore, I have a gap.  In any large product, you will have pieces that are awesome and others that are a little sketchy.  During the design phase and the execution phase, you aim for perfection.  You try to catch all of the details.  However, over time, the pressure to ship intensifies.

The key is understand if there are curves involved.  Do the curves change early or late?  Exponentially or linear?  Each organization is a little different on this score.  This may be a frustrating concept for people because it means the priorities and decision making rules change during the game.  I find this fact energizing in a way because it gives a little more fluidity to the situation and doesn’t allow people to become complacent in how decisions get made.

The chart above is inspired by Steve Jobs who wrote “Never Compromise!” on the whiteboard when they were designing the original Mac.  Eventually (18 months late on the project), he erased the message and said, “Real Artists Ship!”


Whatya think?