You don't learn until you ship

Someone on my email list asked me: "How do you get over perfectionist tendencies, and put stuff out there?"

The first thing out of my head was:

"You don't really learn until you ship."

You can tinker with something, and try to get it perfect. But until you get real-world feedback on it, you won't really know how valuable it is. The longer you sit on a project, the more it festers. Putting it out in public, and seeing people's response, is what gives your work oxygen.

The other thing I've learned: the more frequently you ship, the easier it gets. Shipping small updates, more frequently, is like putting in your reps at the gym. 

The best way to start? I try to put something (small) out in public every day. For me, this can be a bit of code, a tweet, a forum response, a blog post, a podcast. For you, it could mean sharing some code on CodePen, hosting a meetup, or doing a livestream.

Ship something small every day. Eventually, it will become a habit, and you won't overthink it anymore.

(At least, this is what's worked for me).

Hope this helps you too,
Justin Jackson

This article was originally published on July 3rd, 2016. It's been updated since then.

Published on December 13th, 2019
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