Today I had a plan. The day was open, with one meeting, one small task to complete and 5-6 glorious hours where I could focus on writing blog posts, getting the site closer to the style that I have envisioned in my head, send out an email finally inviting people to see the wonders that I have so far bestowed upon the internet.
I had a plan, and a checklist, created the night before and ready to attack the day. And then the day started. Run, shower, pack lunches, get the kids to school and head to my coffee meeting.
By 10am, my inbox is flooded with emails, which is unusual for that early. Most of the emails are quick replies, but two are opportunities for work and they also happen to be quick turnaround projects that must get done today.
So, priorities shifted and things moved from today to tomorrow and so there is less done on the site than I had hoped, but I still had to post for today and I made sure to keep one other small win on my list so I felt the sensation of forward progress.
Part of the idea of consistency is to stick to it and make time every day to do a little more, but sometimes that’s just not going to be possible. Sometimes you’re going to miss a day or a weekend or a whole week. Truth be told, coming back after the longer breaks is going to be harder than the sixth day in a row you’ve made progress. It’s going to be a lot harder. Remember, don’t break the chain (if you can).
In relation to building products there are two things that this makes me consider.
Iteration from good enough to pretty damn sweet.
When I worked at Millennial Media we used to have to come up with new creative concepts in order to reel in the big clients. Games were a big hit and once we would sell one, we’d sell a dozen. Getting the first one out the door was always a late-night, stress induced situation, running through QA, fixing bugs, manipulating pixels and doing it all over again. But then we had our base and from that point every time we released it I required that it be a little bit better. Whether that means running a little faster or adding a feature that we couldn’t get in the first time or whatever, it just had to be a little better, until it was a true V1. Then we’d take that and templatize it and make it so we could build it just as quickly as our basic units.
Engineering is unpredictable.
I plan on writing a longer post about this in the near future. If you’re in a company that is still using a tactical product road map, I highly recommend switching to a goal based product road map and stop promising dates further ahead than the current priority. Give a basic idea of what’s coming next, but focus on delivering value and not hitting dates. More to come.
In addition to this fine (longer than anticipated) post, I also implemented the basic SumoMe package…so as you’re trying to leave (at least for today), you’ll get a popup asking you to sign up for my list. I’ll be updating it tomorrow, probably to a paid package, if I can’t get the look feel I want from this free version. See, little bits of progress, just like those games we made at MM. It works and it makes me feel good.
“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” – Oscar Wilde