Don’t wait for perfection. Perfect along the way.
“I’m a perfectionist” is looked at as a celebrated trait in the culture of the entrepreneur & creator. These perfectionists like to compare themselves and their work to Steve Jobs and Apple before they even have a body of work to compare to. Please. Being a perfectionist is all fine and dandy when you’re actually working on something and dialed in. But the problem many of these self-proclaimed perfectionists run into is putting off LAUNCHING their product until its perfect. If I would have waited until I had the concept of Throwboy “perfect” before I launched it I don’t know if I would have even launched it. In the months leading up to the official launch in 2008, I was sourcing local factories, raw material supplier and label companies to help take my idea of a quirky plush pillow in the shape of a computer icon, to life. But nobody understood it. And why should they have? It was weird! And I woke up one day and realized this was never going to get rolling unless I did it myself. And I mean literally start making every pillow myself. Also, if you're waiting until you can tell someone your idea and they're going to magically understand exactly what you want and make it 100x better, you're freaking dreaming, man. No one cares about your idea. You have to make it tangible first.
Were they perfect? Of course not. Yes, they were very high quality handmade pillows. But I knew they could always be better. But this got things going. This got people interested in the company and in the story. Now people with those original handmade pillows share photos with us all the time like a “we knew you when” badge of honor. Look at how many fandoms have vintage toys, artwork etc. selling on Ebay for thousands of dollars every day. I know I’ve been close to buying a vintage Beach Boys tour t-shirt many a time. Because we love those things. We love the origins of where things started. Apple hasn’t always been the perfectly slick polished product maker they are today. But was the APPLE ][ the BEST they could do at the time? Oh HELL yeah it was. And that execution set the tone for what was to come. It’s good to be inspired by great work. But don’t let it hinder your gusto to put something out that’s uniquely yours. Your product does not need Apple quality packaging right at launch. That’s a waste of money. No one even knows who you are. In my younger days I played in rock bands and produced music for others. And my biggest pet peeve was hearing the following: “I’m just saving up to buy that piece of equipment before I can start making beats, I’m just waiting until I can afford that $1,500 Fender, I don’t want to waste time learning on some piece of crap.” Shut up, dude. You’re never going to start and you never did. So just go. Put out your best quality work for the least amount of money and get it out there. As my grandma always tells me, “there’s always room for improvement.”