Start. Ship. Hustle. Release. Push. One does not have to invest much time in our startup and socialized culture to hear these words. It isn’t uncommon to see them in action in any number of lives in the news and social media. But making them a reality in our own lives can be difficult. Do we even know what that looks like for each us individually?
In March I wrote about my issues with burnout. I took the month off to rest and regather my thoughts. Truth is April came and I still wasn’t feeling rested. I have been slow to get started on my next iOS app Dashboard.
Then something happened. My brother came up with an app idea that I got/am really excited about. It rekindled the fire and passion in me. Unfortunately it was not for my current project.
Dashboard was partially started and far from complete. I was very tempted to abandon it. I wanted to jump onto the next project. It would not have been the first time (or even the second) that I abandoned a project for a new one. Fortunately my wonderful wife stepped in and told me I needed to finish my current one. So I did.
In the end shipping is most important. Your next project might be better, more important, more urgent. But the current project probably was too, and the project after the next one probably will be as well. We cannot let that distract us or we will never make progress on our goals.
See, the one area where we are most likely to fail in our hustle is in never finishing. We start to loose the passion and then hustle on the next project that excites us. Seth Godin talks about our fear of failure and it’s affect on us in Fear of Shipping. In The roller coaster of shipping, Seth talks about the emotional battle that we will face with every project. It is a battle we repeat with every project. It’s a battle against project abandonment, and it is not an easy to cycle to break out of.
I have put a lot of time into Dashboard over the last couple of weeks. I took an extra day off this past weekend and spent all three days working on it. At this point I consider it a minimal vial product, but it has come out well. I am proud of it. Yes, there is a lot of functionality that I want to add to it, but right now it’s ready to ship. It is ready to see how people use it and get feedback.
The only way to break the cycle of project abandonment is by shipping.
Ideas aren’t important. There are plenty of ideas in the world. Execution is important. Shipping is important. Just don’t ship junk. Jeff Goins reminds us that there is a fine line between shipping and sucking.
So let’s not leave projects incomplete. Find someone to hold you accountable to your projects whether that be your wife, a friend, a Meetup, or a mastermind group. If need be, let the next project fuel the flames for your current project.
What are you working on right now? What are you struggling to get shipped?