On shipping

Ever since college I have attempted to maintain a personal personal blog. I probably read in a book that you needed one to get a job in tech, so I put one together. I’ve always admired people who are able to publish regularly — the discipline and commitment to daily/weekly writing and publishing. I’ve tried to emulate that over the years but I’ve fallen short at every attempt. Sadly, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve started blogging, re-started, and re-started again. I now know my way around WordPress like the back of my hand, and the same goes for Squarespace and Tumblr. Heck, I’ve even tried hand coding my own site on a couple occasions believing that it would lead me to write more. As you might expect, it never has.

Whenever I’d start again — as I’m doing now — I’d pick a new tool to help get everything back on track. The only problem was, it was never the tool that got in my way. It was me. At some point I stopped publishing my work. There would always be a really good reason too. Sometimes I was simply too busy to write, other times it just slipped my mind. And we when I could finally get some thoughts on written down, I’d hold myself back by letting the content rot away in the drafts folder.

Reflecting on my poor writing habits has given me a new respect for how individuals and companies build products. Building a successful product takes commitment. It’s showing up every day and putting in the work to see something come to life. It’s sweating every single detail, and worrying about each customer touch point. And while there’s always more you can do, at some point though, you ultimately have to ship. Unfortunately not everyone is able to ship. Sometimes there’s a fear that the product isn’t ready, or that customers won’t receive it well. When I think about my own work, I’ve always stopped because I never really like the finished work. If only I had the mental strength to hit publish and continue honing my craft. Instead, I allowed myself to stay at square one. Successful teams ship, and keep on shipping their work. Everyday they spend time improving their work just a little bit more, until it’s nothing short of amazing.

So how can I improve my own work? Make a commitment to creating and shipping. Some of the stuff I’ll create will suck, some of it won’t, but I’ll get better.