Done Is Better Than Perfect Is The Perfect Excuse

An Excuse To Go Home Early

It’s called the “hacker way”, it’s cited often by developers, it’s a Facebook mantra, it’s overdone. It’s the perfect excuse to go home early.

Consumers and product users have to deal with the repercussions of this overdone mantra. Get the product rolled out and iterate from there. Get it to market, now. Get your work out there and fix it later. And the users pay for this philosophy in a broken user experience while brands seem to unknowingly send the message, “Take it, we don’t care.”

Daily, like many others, I use products that come from companies where leadership promotes the mantra that Done Is Better Than Perfect. Daily I see products crash, work counter-intuitively, leave users mad in the quiet of their homes or vicinity of whoever happens to be near them at the moment.

How often we ask, “Why can’t it just work?”

Yet, brands and leaders who promote Done Is Better Than Perfect do care about the longevity of their product life cycle. I like to think that’s so, anyways. Smugly suggesting that this quote should not be taken too literally, that it still means to do your best, that we just don’t get the meaning of this phrase doesn’t do your product life cycle any favors.

If it doesn’t mean what it sounds like it means, than pick a different mantra – one that does mean what it should mean.

Everyone should strive to do their best. No one is perfect though. Striving for the best user experience possible sometimes means sticking up for your work and telling someone else, “it’s not ready yet”, however. Personally, I have more respect for someone who tells me, “It’s not ready” (because they are thinking about the user experience), than someone who tells me, “it’s ready” (sorry we didn’t mention those few bugs or fully QE/QA the thing).

I’m writing this because I often hear complaints from others about certain products. Most of the complaints simply turn into verbal comments about how stupid something is and end there. However, they add up to the point that there is no brand loyalty.

The done-is-better-than-perfect folks try to cloud the reality of user experience by telling us that there is no brand loyalty these days – that’s why it has to get out there quickly.

Ahem, and users end up speaking of a brand with disdain or chuckles. The brand ends up being a subject of jokes. The brand learns that done is better than pefect might not be the perfect mantra to live by.

I like using products created by folks who paid attention to the details. I’m loyal to the brands where doing it as close to perfection as possible is their way – they care about the user experience and walk the talk.

So I guess I’m just saying, don’t tell me, “Done is better than perfect.” Go home early if you do. I have some quality and branding experience behind me and won’t accept that philosophy.

Tell me it’s not ready yet, and you have my attention.

Tell me, done is better than perfect, and I’ll have a reason why we ask, “Why can’t it just work?!”

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