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>Another reason why Kodak was slow to change was that its executives “suffered from a mentality of perfect products, rather than the high-tech mindset of make it, launch it, fix it...”

This is actually my preferred work environment. Fuck profits, I've got a rather short life to lead, and I'd like to get a little enjoyment and intellectual satisfaction for all my efforts.

Has the development of anything really lasting been rushed? "Hey, Stradivarius! Stop dicking around and glue that shit together, we'll deal with it after the sale if the customer complains!"




On the other hand, Stradivarius made 1100+ instruments, which even over his long career - 77 years - comes to more than one per month, and probably more than that over his prime period. He certainly doesn't sound like someone agonizing over making the perfect instrument, instead improving them version by version.


I don't know if the story of the ceramics teacher is actually true, but it has the ring of truth and it applies to this example. Incremental improvement is a more sure path to success than striving for perfection out of the box.

http://kottke.org/09/02/art-and-fear


The pride in building products is making them fit for purpose, useful and appropriate. You don't understand what that means for any given product by sitting in a workshop. You have to get people to use your product in order to understand how they use it.

The most beautiful things are iterated on endlessly. The first attempt is always crap.


The problem with working on the "perfect" product is that unless you're making the right product, it can become a colossal waste of time. You see this sometimes with craftsmen in the tech space, who come up with a half-baked idea for a business, and then develop the perfect product for that. It then fails after significant development time.

For litmus tests, the MVP approach of make it, launch it, fix it is perfectly justified. Once you have zeroed in on something interesting with proof it is both technically and economically feasible, you can worry about perfection. In a sense, it's the business equivalent of measure once, cut twice.


Real artists ship.


When their art is ready, which might be never. It's art after all, not a product.

When I was gainfully employed by a large telecom, very little of what I did found its way anywhere near the market.

Most go to the grave with their masterpiece unstarted, much less signed. Free your mind.




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