Progress over perfection

I was running on the treadmill yesterday (3rd time in a week!), when Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation" came up on shuffle. After the very recogizable opening drum fill, I almost hit skip but then changed my mind and let it roll.

I'm glad I did. The opening line, which I've heard hundreds of times, hit me square between the eyes (or ears in this case).

"A little less conversation, a little more action please."

Probably because I was already in the mode of trying to convice myself to do something that I don't really like doing, I heard it differently. Elvis was telling me the same thing we tell our users and I tell our engineers: progress over perfection.

  • 2.5 miles today, even though you wish you could do 4, is better than none.
  • Your first pushup, crunch or plank is a victory and will lead to many more. Fearing 1 is not enough will lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • An apple instead of a bag of chips seems small in this moment, but a habit has to begin somewhere.
  • Your first version of a feature or an idea will obviously never be as polished as the fourth, but you may not even be around to deliver the fourth if you don't take that first step.

Imagine it, do it, see what happens, learn from it. Rinse. Repeat. Progress over perfection.

After all, Elvis says so.