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Summary:

Recently I had a conversation with a Found|READ contributor about common pitfalls founders face. (Hint: I found this image of the Perfection Monster on the web.) Sure, perfectionists are annoying, but he addressed the dangers of such aspirations in a way that is especially relevant to […]

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Recently I had a conversation with a Found|READ contributor about common pitfalls founders face. (Hint: I found this image of the Perfection Monster on the web.) Sure, perfectionists are annoying, but he addressed the dangers of such aspirations in a way that is especially relevant to startups, and I think it bears repeating:

“One of the biggest mistakes founders make is thinking [they] can only launch once. Wrong! We aren’t launching a space shuttle here! You can unbake the pie…[recognize your mistakes and make amendments, he meant]. Movies can only premier once. But your product can prelaunch, relaunch and postlaunch.”

This amplifies a piece of advice I got not long ago from my own mentor, first penned by Voltaire

Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien :
The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Nothing is perfect, ever. So don’t let your pursuit of ‘the perfect’ product, pitch or story be the enemy of the good. (Tesla Motors knows a thing or two about this: The Perfect Car, Enemy of the Good Car.)

Sure, you need to attend to the code, and the build, and your market research, and as we’ve written earlier, you do need to test thoroughly (The 4-Stages of Testing Your Web Product.)

But don’t let these things stall you from the ultimate achievement:
getting your product or service in front of your customers. (Go Ahead: Push the Red Button
.) The sooner you do this, the sooner you will have the opportunity to make your offering better… and take it to the next level.

  1. Perfectionism does not work in any true creative situation. But I would say you need some perfectionist minds in the financial department to help keep rolling along longterm.

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  2. “We aren’t launching a space shuttle here!”
    HAHA!! Amen to that!
    my site is launching in a month, wish me luck :)

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  3. [...] is more, tying in to our post yesterday on the perils of pursuing product perfection, Ben points out that providing good support can compensate for the inevitable glitches, bugs and [...]

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  4. Interesting…It is good to strive for as it will help you navigate and progress towards success. It is bad when one is obsessed about it.

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  5. The thing is an iffy first launch can sour perception and make it even harder to pull people in for subsequent launches. Settling for too far from perfection can be as bad as striving for perfection.

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  6. Great post. Perfection = paralysis.

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  7. [...] Found/Read — Perfectionism is both annoying and from a startup perspective, dangerous. [...]

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