Done is better than perfect.
This was first published on my mailing list The Boring Letter.
Done is better than perfect.*
All our lives, we’ve been taught not to fail and always play safe. Our social/cultural norms are risk averse. In 2015, when we were starting out and were experimenting with a number of business ideas, we had to have a culture that encouraged us to try things and not be stigmatized by failure. This would mean sailing against the wind.
I championed this idea of valuing experience and learning over our traditional notion of success. We needed to ingrain this mantra in ourselves at the time. I made a poster with the quote “Done is better than perfect” and paste it on our office walls. To fail fast and fail better, we needed to get our products to the market, gather data on how the market responds, and iterate from there. We needed to do this fearlessly.
Over the years my appreciation has grown for this approach.
If you’re building a new business, especially a tech business, then you need to get your product in the hands of your customers as soon as possible. Avoid the trap of spending a year building something you think is great but your customers don’t want.
That being said, I’m convinced that for an early stage startup, shipping a minimum viable version of your product as soon as possible is the way to go. Ship more, make mistakes, learn more, and improve.
*This approach is NOT a fit for businesses at every stage. It’s best for when you’re starting out. As Pathao grew, I had to grow out of this mentality.
Your product philosophy has to change at every stage of growth — and that is needed. Today, the Pathao app has been installed over 1.5million times, several thousand people depend on it for their income and even more people for their daily commutes. Across Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. Be it a ride, food or a parcel. Moving Bangladesh is now a responsibility; one that we care about deeply and take seriously.
We started Pathao in 2015 with 4 people. Today, the Pathao app has been installed over 1.5million times, several thousand people depend on it for their income and even more people for their daily commutes. Across Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. Be it a ride, food or a parcel. I am now sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned on this journey. I share these not to inspire or stroke my own ego — rather to highlight some hard things about building a technology company in Bangladesh.
I look beyond the glamor and share real experiences we’ve had while building this company from nothing. I will be sharing these on this newsletter every week.
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