If you did a search on this website “do the thing” is a phrase you’d find that pops up quite a bit. I’ve never been one who is tied to research and analysis just to figure out if I should take action a or action b. There’s value in testing assumptions, no doubt. But if you haven’t even failed at putting your thing out into the world what’s it (testing) all worth?
If you have a product or a service, and your building your messaging, doing your competitor research, and all this other stuff is that time being put to its best use? What if you just “did the thing” and launched your product? What if you started that website and told the world about that service before it was “fully baked?” What then?
Perhaps people love it! Maybe nobody gives a shit. Maybe nobody cares. Maybe people try it and don’t like it. And you know what? It’s all okay. Failure is okay. It happens.
I’m not advocating failure for the sake of failure; I’m simply stating that sometimes you just need to do the thing and iterate after you’ve put your product out there. People giving you feedback is a good motivator or a barometer as to how your product or service works and is received by the public.
Never getting started
My business partner and I were working on an AdWords campaign for DigiSavvy. I built the landing page. My partner thought it looked great. He came back the next day with about five changes. I did them and sent it back. Then there were a few more changes, I did those, and those changes were followed by yet more changes. Those concerns, coupled with a limited budget made things challenging.
For his part, he was concerned about the page quality according to Google. His concerns were valid. Some of the requests, I felt, bogged down the work we were doing. We were worried about the potential of something bad happening rather than doing the thing, seeing what happens, and then adjusting later. That’s called iterating.
We became bogged down in the details, and we both were frustrated with one another and didn’t end up running the campaign. All that work and nothing to show for it. We stood at opposite ends of the “just do it” spectrum. Depending on who you ask, either budget ultimately killed this push or trying to be too perfect killed this push. My partner’s side of it was that he wanted to perform more research, make sure the landing page was up-to-spec, per Google’s landing page quality guidelines and such. For me, I wanted to get the page done and do the thing.
So who was right? That question is irrelevant because I don’t think either of us was wrong.
In 37Signals’s book, Rework, Jason Fried, and David Heinemeier advise:
“Don’t hold everything else up because of a few leftovers. Do them later.”
They’re not saying that we should be irresponsible or and not do the work. They’re just stating that if you have a working and functional quality product then go to market and let the world know what you have. Fix as-needed.
I’m building a commercial plugin
I need your help! I’m looking for Ninja Forms, ActiveCampaign, and WordPress users who can help us smoke test our addon. I do plan on selling this plugin once I know it’s not a pile of hot garbage. If you help report bugs and squash them, you’ll get a shiny license of the addon for free fifty free.
Signup on the form below, I promise no spammy anything from it. I just need to know who’s interested in testing this. In essence, you’re helping me do the thing. =)