Recently, some of my friends were fretting about the brand new redesign of their website. They were comparing it to Musicfellas and thought that theirs wasn’t good (which in opinion was actually way too good for the first version). It caused them grief and a little sadness. They were anxious. What they had forgotten was that they were comparing something which was a result of over 6 months of painstakingly discussing and sometimes even fighting over the minutest of details with something which was put out in a few days.
It’s not just them. I had been procrastinating on writing a short article for a friend’s blog for quite some time myself. I had a fear of imperfection. I didn’t realise one key point - first drafts are always crappy.
Things improve over time:
We don’t see how many pages a writer has torn apart to produce that great novel.
We don’t see the many erroneous brush strokes behind that final masterpiece.
We don’t see the multiple wrong notes before that final perfect one which makes a genius piece of music.
We don’t see the many changes in the color, size or placement of a button on a website before the final version.
And this can be overwhelming, depressing and a lot of times demotivating.
Biz Stone, Twitter Co-Founder, once famously said: “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success." Overnight success stories and get famous/rich/better quick is what we want. But, we forget that the people who seem be able to do that, have achieved it over a period of time.
At Musicfellas, we didn’t get great (that’s what people have said) at design from the day one. Our first versions were almost embarrassing. It took us time, patience and constant perseverance to achieve what we did.
So, if you feel like you are creating less than awesome stuff to start with, realise that it is natural. You are already way ahead of so many people who haven’t even started something. You are in the top 1% of creators (completely made up stat). For you to achieve perfection, it is completely OK to take time.
Be aware that beautiful things, and the best ones at that, emerge incrementally.
Added bonus: Have a look at some of the earliest versions of the most popular websites in the world and see how they have evolved and gotten better with time: Wayback Machine.
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Appreciate your time. Thanks!