"Every time you raise your hand, send an email, launch a product or make a suggestion, you're exposing yourself to criticism. Not just criticism, but the negative consequences that come with wasting money, annoying someone in power or making a fool of yourself. It's no wonder we're afraid to ship." ~Seth Godin
I recently had a conversation with a good friend of mine who is a highly acclaimed speaker and author. She had just finished the writing and editing of her 2nd published book and was now ready for the equally as challenging task of promoting the book. During the promotional planning phase, my friend (who is of the Baby Boomer generation) was working with a number of different teams to ensure her book launch would be an epic success. As they brainstormed and strategized, she noticed a very revealing trend.
She explained to me that the Boomers on her team had the mentality of gathering as much data as possible, tweaking the strategy based on that data, getting new data, and then finally shipping the promotion plan. zzzzzOOOOOOM! That is the sound of you getting passed at the speed of today's innovative culture if you choose to execute in this traditional fashion in the future.
My friend continued to share with me that her Millennial team wanted to ship immediately and tweak on the fly. They were eager to push the final product out of the nest and build it's wings on the way down. Perhaps this thinking is an area where the Millennials can lead the way and the rest can follow suit.
Ever had analysis paralysis? It's an even easier trap to get snared by today with the endless amounts of data on the web and the countless tools available to gather and measure that data. However, today we live in a culture of perpetual beta. Increased innovation results in smaller shipping windows. We have been conditioned to expect businesses to go in a different direction or tweak the product to make it better on the fly. Google is constantly shipping new products that have the term "beta" embedded in the logo. Remember when Gmail or Google+ was in beta? Facebook is also constantly tweaking its user interface. Your product, blog post, leadership, service or speech will never be perfect but ship anyways.
Seth Godin puts it this way..."In a long distance race, everyone gets tired. The winner is the runner who figures out where to put the tired, figures out how to store it away until after the race is over. Sure, he's tired. Everyone is. That's not the point. The point is to run."
Submit. Pick up the phone. Hit the send button. Make a decision. Speak up.
Question: How will you overcome the fear of shipping?