In the world of business, getting a product out into the market is far more important than getting a perfect product out into the market. There is a place for perfection, but if you put it at the beginning, you may never actually get a product out.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
In 1985, car buyers in both the U.S. and Australia discovered a new and remarkably inexpensive imported automobile. At $4,995, the Hyundai Excel appealed mostly to people in the lower income brackets. Hyundai sold approximately 170,000 of them.
The Excel presented a lot of value for the money, even making Fortune Magazine’s annual list of best products. However, within a year, its flaws started to show, as an alarming number of Excel owners reported numerous mechanical, and fit and finish issues.
Though sales initially leveled off, people continued to purchase their value-priced vehicles. The company ultimately salvaged its battered reputation, both by resolving their quality-standards problems and by giving their vehicles a superior warranty.
Today, Hyundai is popular, with two of their models being among the top 25 best-selling vehicles in the U.S.
Hyundai did the right thing by putting the Excel out there when they did. At that price, people should sensibly have known they were not getting a miracle; they were getting a new, fully functioning, basic automobile at a very low price.
In other words, the Hyundai Excel was good enough.
The Right Mindset
A lot of people struggle with this idea. They are continuously getting ready but never starting. They think they can’t put something out—a webpage, a blog post, a new product offer—unless it’s absolutely perfect. So, they obsess over it, which delays the launch, publication, etc.
I have a little formula about this: The more you obsess, the less you’ll get done. The more you finish things and get them out, the more money you stand to make.
The right mindset is to put a higher value on finishing things and getting them out than on achieving total perfection. Consider that it’s good enough when it’s good enough.
Quality vs. Time
I am not suggesting that you purposely throw together a lot of low-quality junk and try to pass it off as high-quality products.
Always produce the best products you can within your resources, but do it against specific timelines.
So, if your audience expects an email message every day, that means you have a limited amount of time during which to create a message and get it out to them. The damage you will cause yourself by failing to stay in continual contact with your list (because you’re obsessing over an email) is far worse than the damage you will cause yourself by sending out an email message that’s good enough. You don’t have the luxury of obsessing over it being perfect.
When it comes to product launches, I use something I call “self-imposed accountability.” I set a deadline and announce it to my list (e.g. “Our new training product will be available a week from today.”). This way, I set up an expectation in my audience and because I’ve put myself at risk of public humiliation, it forces me to get it done.
Then I get busy creating it or finishing it. With the deadline staring me in the face and the wish to avoid humiliation driving me, I move quickly, make it as good as I can (and our products are of high quality), and get it out the door by the time I said I would.
That’s how you get into business and stay in business—by getting things completed and out the door.
In my experience, it’s better to get a product out that will satisfy 85 percent of the people who buy it than it is to obsess over it until it’s something that satisfies 95 percent of your audience.
Getting the product done and out is what brings the money in. When you’ve got cash, you can afford to hire help to go back over the product, clean up the bugs and improve it. Then you can issue it as a version two.
So my advice is, rather than slowing down and overanalyzing, move fast. Get it done and out to your list. In business, especially in the beginning, it’s better to move quickly and issue stuff that’s good enough than it is to obsess and delay until it’s perfect.