“Perfect is the enemy of good” – Voltaire
How can you and I possibly use this leadership quote?
Apple nearly axed the iPhone!
Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, said that Apple nearly axed the iPhone before its launch in 2007. There is no doubt (in my mind at least) that the iPhone had several design flaws when it was launched but despite that, it was such a huge step forward in technology and design that it would have been a travesty not to have launched it. Yes, it was and is a great product and Apple have a design philosophy which says they will only launch great products. I don’t think even they would say that the iPhone is perfect.
It’s right already!
You and I have done it too, perhaps not on the scale of the Apple decision but even so it can be a major stumbling block even at the day-to-day level and even more so for the major business decisions and projects. Spend too long on that email, “improve” that agenda, re-write that proposal. Of course it must be right, but in many cases, it is right already. And it must be on time too.
Have you ever:
- Waited too long to start something because it might not be good enough
- Spent too long planning and then run out of time
- Put off a decision because you might make the wrong choice
- Taken so long to write a report that you have missed the deadline
- Delayed a product launch when it could have been out on the market and making money even if it wasn’t “finished”.
Inspirational Leadership Quotes: Procrastination is an enemy too
I’ve seen it with project teams and with individuals working on important documents. Too much time spent planning, allowing procrastination to waste time at the beginning, then the final date is missed, sometimes by a large margin. These missed deadlines were rarely through a lack of knowledge, care or talent. They were due simply to running out of time. Procrastination at the start and sometimes during the project meant there wasn’t time to execute the plans well enough. That’s an inspirational leadership quote right there.
Remember the application of the Pareto principle in this case. It takes 20% of the time to complete 80% of the task. The remaining 20% of the task can take 80% of the time.
Aside from the iPhone, there are many examples of projects which have been put off and nearly not launched at all. If you have put in 80% of the effort and you have a product ready, provided it is not defective, launch it! You can always improve it later and add all the bells and whistles. Put it out there and let it start doing its job. If it is a product, let it start earning. If it’s a website, let it start bringing in clients. Don’t wait until that final design feature is up and running. Don’t spend forever adjusting the colours and the page structure. Go for it!
So, make sure perfect is not the enemy of your good.
Make a start on time, set a deadline for the completion of the first draft and leave yourself time for a re-write or a re-vamp – or even two. Then deliver on time, launch that product and be happy with your effort. Or, if you need another nudge, you can read about other inspirational leadership quotes on my blog.
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