Joel Spolsky had once written about two groups tasked with making clay pots. Group A was asked to make the pots as perfect as possible while Group B was asked to make as many as they could. Over time it was observed that pots coming out from Group B were much better than what Group A was shipping. The point here is this – shipping often and shipping early leads to learning that can go to improve subsequent shipments.
Writing – or any work in the knowledge age for that matter – has its laws of motion. An idea or work will remain in its state of inertia until you break that state with something. Anything. It is like the first pot that came out from Group B – possible imperfect and maybe not even looking like a pot. But once that inertia is broken, the second law takes over. Your work continues in the state of motion, picking acceleration from the effort you keep providing to it. The third law is not so far behind. Visible feedback from your work is instantly available in today’s age and time. Your action provides the feedback. But here is where things break away from the Newtonian laws. Your feedback is neither equal nor opposite and it does not necessarily have to work on the same object. The magnitude of the feedback grows exponentially as it makes your work progressively better and the halo effect spreads to other adjacent (and perhaps even non-related) projects (If asked, the successful Group B would most likely paint their pots much better than Group A).
Effort is vastly underestimated as perfection is rated much more than it ever should be.
PS: I was postponing the idea of writing a business plan, looking to find the best structure, data points, graphics and so on. Actually, I was getting blocked by the idea of picking up the keyboard and banging on it. So I decided to pick up a book I was reading and just started typing out the contents of a chapter. Maybe this is how athletes get into the zone, but soon I realized I was thinking better and was all ready to start on writing my own stuff. Quantity wins – quality follows.
PPS (humorous aside): You haven’t heard of the Mahesh-Majumdar laws, have you?
Picture courtesy: blogymate.com