The Pursuit of Wow and the Virtue of Shipping

wow.jpgI’ve just finished reading “The Pursuit of Wow!” by Tom Peters. The essential message is that if you’re not enthused by what you’re doing, change things until you’re enthused. It’s a great reminder of the importance of passion for delivering great products and services.

Unfortunately, as a startup veteran, there’s a conflict that I run up against often. We need to get a product out the door to get customers to either bring us to profitability, or the next phase of the plan. That getting product out the door — what Microsoft folks mean when they say “shipping is a feature” — people can’t use what you’ve built until you give it to them. Building great stuff requires not only great dedication, but often fast iterative cycles so you can see the responses to what you’re doing.

Often times, those iterative versions aren’t what you want them to be. Sometimes, they fall short of the vision you’ve set out. Learning to balance the virtue of shipping and the pursuit of wow has been one of the hardest lessons in building startups.