In 2010 Seth Godin published Linchpin, a book about becoming so indispensable that you are crucial to the success of your company or business.
In it, he shares for the first time a concept that he’s become quite known for: just ship it. More accurately, in Linchpin he refers to this as “ship on time”. Have a deadline and stick with it.
Better not perfect but on time, than perfect but late.
Well, I refuse to put out crappy content for the sake of “shipping” something…
I know this is what you’re thinking.
I know because I used to think this as well. And so did every doctor I’ve worked with. And apparently, it is also something Seth Godin heard back from his readers. So he clarifies: “just ship it is not the same as merely ship it”.
There’s a fundamental difference.
Just ship it refers to putting your work out once it’s completed but before you feel it’s ready.
For example, this essay. I have given myself 45 minutes to write it, 10 minutes to edit it, and then I’m hitting publish. I’m just shipping it.
Could I make it better? Yes, I’m sure I could.
But regardless of how much I massaged the text, double-checked my grammar, and added more references, the message would remain the same.
And so would be the impact you received from reading it.
On top of that, the more time I spend “polishing” this essay beyond its current form, the less time I have left for the next one. And the one after that. And every other essay, post, tweet, or article I could be sharing.
When you don’t ship, you cheat yourself of the opportunity to refine your ideas.
Ideas are refined when you put them out and see how the world responds to them.
If you don’t ship, your audience can’t see them. They can’t respond to it. You can’t get their feedback. And nobody is better as a result.
Don’t cheat the world of your contribution. Give it what you’ve got.