Business Magazine

Products Don’t Need To Be Perfect, They Just Need To Be Good Enough

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg

Steve JobsPerfection sucks. It’s the enemy of invention, it’s the thing that holds you back. Trying to reach it might be an ok goal but never finishing a project until it’s perfect is the work equivalent of dry humping, it feels good but you never really get to the point. Sorry, but perfection can go to hell, I’ll take good enough any day of the week.

I say all this because I’m struggling with finishing up Diamonds or Dogs, my gift site. There are so many things I want to do. I need more reviewers, more reviews, a better landing page, a better “about us” and more information on why the site is the way it is. That’s just the beginning of my to do list. However, the more I try to get the site perfect, the more I push off the important task of starting to drive traffic to the site. Yes, I want the site to look good but I also want to start doing marketing for it. I want to start linking to it, telling people about it, running an AdWords campaign and the dozens of other things I will need to do in order to get people to my site. I’m not doing any of those things because I’m working on the landing page…

Is It Worth It?

Some things are. For example, I want a better landing page because I need to get both the men’s and women’s side of the site up and that will be hard without a landing page. So yes, that I need to finish. The about page though? That can wait. The reviews speak for themselves I hope and an about page is a nice to have, not a must have. So skip it for now and complete it later when I have more time. Perfection would be nice but not at the cost of forward progress.

There’s an interesting concept in product management called Minimum Viable Product (MVP). It says you’re not looking to create the best product or the most complete product, you’re just looking to create the minimum viable product that will let you achieve your goals. I think that’s a concept that’s true of live in general.

Product Genius?

We hold up people like Steve Jobs as product geniuses. We say that they invented the perfect products and we hail them as perfectionists. We tell stories about how Steve Jobs was so intent on perfection that he personally inspected the color of the cases for the first few iPhones and sent them back if they weren’t green enough or blue enough. We believe that this kind of drive is what makes a good product and a successful business, but we forget what a piece of crap the first iPhone was.

Seriously, did you guys use it? I did. The interface was crappy, the AT&T Edge network was slower than a 2400 baud modem, there was no camera, there was no multi tasking, there was no copy/paste, the calendar wouldn’t synch with my Google Calendar and did I mention the fact that one out of every three calls was dropped? (Ok, so maybe that was AT&T but still!) The fact is that the first iPhone was no where near perfect. Was it great? Absolutely. Was it revolutionary? Hell yes! But was it perfect? No frickin way. I think Steve Jobs was a genius not because he built perfect products but because he knew exactly where the MVP was and he did nothing more (plus he was a genius at marketing but that’s another issue).


So why do we hold perfection as the goal of product design? No product will ever be perfect, it just need to be good enough, and the same applies to my business idea. Yes, I can sit here and pick holes in everything I do but so what? Plenty of businesses thrive even with less than perfect business plans. I’m not trying to make Diamonds or Dogs the perfect gift site, I’m just trying to get it good enough.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

Paperblog Hot Topics