Hello, artist. You creator, you. Don’t consider yourself an artist? Well, are you making something? Then yep, that means you’re an artist! (Congratulations.) You are translating this THING in your head, this idea, into something you can see/hear/taste/smell/feel, and then you’re most likely getting others to see/hear/taste/smell/feel it, too: Creating and Connecting.
Don’t mind me. I don’t mean to interrupt. I just want to see/hear/taste/smell/feel this thing you’re up to. Wait, you WANT to show me? Awesome! Gee, thanks! So, to share this with me, you’ll have to stop creating. Not forever, I know, and you might not even be DONE, but in the continuum of its creation process, you are showing me one state.
This is a challenge to artists of all types: Is this thing done enough for me to share?
If we had infinite time, money, focus, and other resources, we’d want to make it perfect. PERFECT. So with that ideal in our heads, we keep going. We keep refining. We keep tweaking. We keep… going. We keep… not stopping so that we can ship. And this is bad. Hey, don’t look at me that way. Listen to Voltaire:
Dans ses écrits, un sàge Italien
Dit que le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.
Essentially (from an Italian, yet in French): perfect is the enemy of the good.
Let me ask you a simple question. Do you know the future? Don’t lie, now. No? I didn’t think so. That’s OK, neither do I, and that’s the point. How do you know if this plan you have for this thing you’re making will really matter or create real value? How do you know if this thing in your head is really the best form for it to take?
People stink at planning. (What percentage of projects that you’ve been a part of have ended on time and on budget without continually updating the plan along the way to better match reality?) Scrum recognizes this poignantly human weakness and embraces it by espousing that we ship and ship often; at the end of each sprint, we have a potentially ‘shippable’ product.
At the end of each sprint, you have created a version you can share. For my earlier ScrumOfOne stories, they were ones I would share with… me: personal utility, whether it was more frequent use or a deeper use.
I started ScrumOfOne (talk about incrementally evolving THIS idea…) when I first moved into my current place. The floors were a mess, the bathroom sink was disgustingly clogged, and everything I owned was suddenly piled into my kitchen. Now what. You prioritize. The kitchen sink became a safe zone – I would shave there for a while, overlooking Mass. Ave. The toilet became lickably sterilized – my butt is high maintenance. The shower was scrubbed, but not gleaming white – baby, but solid steps for survival before living with some luxuries. The fridge doesn’t have to be wiped before populated with sustenance.
What type of artist was I then?
I was desperate. I was crafting a livable space – for me – which was good enough (great for a time). And now, she and I are crafting this space for us – which is great (awesome going on awesomer).
First strive for Good Enough. Get to Great later.
You might find Good Enough IS Great, but that’s a Taoist revelation for another time…