Fear, The Enemy of Shipping

Shipping, provides clarity. What ever it is you are working on it does not really exist until you ship it. It could be a piece of software, a photograph, an paper, or an idea. It does not really exist or really matter to anyone until you release it.

This is what we each strive for, to share our ideas, our art, our work. But what keeps us from shipping? What did you not ship today? What are you holding on to?

Go on think about it… I’ll wait…

Still there? OK you have it? Honestly why have you not shipped? OK be honest, what are you afraid of?

Believe me I completely understand. I have this internal conversation just about every day. “When is that email ready to send?” “Does this specification good enough to share?” “Is that feature really what customers want?” “Is that photograph good enough to print?”

Releasing your work can be very scary. You may get critical feedback, people might not like it. Or worse, maybe no one will even care.

I’ll speak for myself, but tell me if you disagree. The fears, concerns, perceived risks that you have created in your mind are always worse than the reality. And I would argue the value of getting your work out there outweighs holding on to it. Shipping provides clarity, it tells you if you are on the right track, where to go next. Iterate, fail fast.

This sounds good, but it is much easier to say this then do it everyday. Take small steps, share something, how did that feel? Did the world end? Of course not.

Find a trusted small group of people you can consult in the situations where you are questioning yourself. I do this. I have a few friends that I test ideas with. Pick carefully, you want people that will tell you how they see it. This does not make them right it makes them honest. This is a form of shipping, you are sharing your ideas, getting the idea out there and evolving.

What do you think? What have you tried? What do you no longer fear?