Usage Is Like Oxygen
This article by Matt Mullenwag is a must-read for anyone who creates anything. I’m talking about painters, designers, entrepreneurs, writers, musicians – any creator.
Usage is like oxygen for ideas. You can never fully anticipate how an audience is going to react to something you’ve created until it’s out there. That means every moment you’re working on something without it being in the public it’s actually dying, deprived of the oxygen of the real world. It’s even worse because development doesn’t happen in a vacuum — if you have a halfway decent idea, you can be sure that there are two or three teams somewhere in the world that independently came up with it and are working on the same thing, or something you haven’t even imagined that disrupts the market you’re working in. (Think of all the podcasting companies — including Ev Williams’ Odeo — before iTunes built podcasting functionality in.)
I’ve taken this mentality with Daily Exhaust. The site, as it is right now, is not what I would consider finished. The overall design is still in progress. I’m not even sure I would call it a 1.0 release candidate. I still have a lot of work to do, but having it up and live puts pressure on me to work on it, improve it.
It’s a cliché, but seriously, if you have an idea, just do it.