Slow down and do it right

Daring Fireball linked to this article by a former Apple design leader, Mark Kawano. Deadlines are a big deal inside Apple. They never publicize far in advance when they are releasing a product, but internally they are driven by deadlines.

BUT, if their product is not satisfactory by the deadline, they don’t just ship it anyway. They are not opposed to moving deadlines to better serve the creation of a product that meets their high standards.

Many tech start-ups especially seem to prefer the opposite approach. Just ship something and then iterate to make it better later. But as a customer or user, I don’t want a half-baked product. I don’t want to be a beta tester providing useful feedback for the next iteration.

Kawano refers to Facebook beginning to change their approach to product development:

Take Facebook, which recently killed its famous internal mantra: “Move fast and break things.”

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, told a crowd of developers earlier this year that he had made a decision to kill the motto after learning that speed does not equal success. “What we realized over time is that it wasn’t helping us to move faster, because we had to slow down to fix these bugs and it wasn’t improving our speed,” Zuckerberg said.

Instead, Zuckerberg said, Facebook was going to slow down and do it right.

Having a due date will force action. Circle a date on the calendar you plan to have something done. Make an appointment with your team or friend or spouse to show them your creation on that date. Then, if it’s not good enough, set another deadline to perfect it.

Set a deadline. Take action. But slow down and do it right.

“Details matter. It’s worth waiting to get it right.”
-Steve Jobs