Aug 24th, 2022
I started writing this post 3 years ago in July 2019. At the time, Metorik was almost 3 years old and I was trying to come to terms with the idea of continuous product development, constantly wondering when the product would be done.
I never managed to hit publish. Ironically, I felt the post was incomplete, so I let it be.
But the thought never left my mind, and every time I asked myself when the product would be complete, I was reminded of the post I never published. So today I'd like to share it with you.
July 15, 2019:
Whenever I write a post like this, I do so for a couple reasons:
I'll be honest here - it's normally because of the latter (#2). My memory is awful, I'm bad at following my own advice, and learning from my experiences is something that I need to improve at. Although I haven't tried any risky activities since I broke my ankle skateboarding, so perhaps I'm starting to learn.
A couple months ago I made a note in my todo list to write a post about the concept of completeness and how when you build a company like this, the job is never really done. I think the fact that I'm writing this post 2 months later is a reflection of how true that really is.
When I had the idea for this post, it was Friday evening at 6pm. I was trying to get through my daily todo list. There was only one more task. But then suddenly, another popped up. And another. And then a thought popped into my head - how about a redesign of our Help Docs website? Suddenly, that idea felt so important - like it was the most important thing in the world. But the truth is that it doesn't matter. None of it does besides the core feature people pay for and want.
Every time you check another task off the todo list, a little bit of dopamine is released. But like becoming addicted to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram notifications, this is an unhealthy habit that I need to kick. While caring for a product and becoming obsessed with the details is arguably what makes the product appeal to users, no single feature will mark the project as done.
A lot of events and actions in life have a beginning and a predictable ending. When you cook a meal, it's done when the food has been eaten and the plates have been washed. When you write a book, it's done when the book is published and it's being read in homes around the world.
Starting a company isn't one of those events. Like having a child, getting married, starting a new career - it's something that will continue for years and the ending is never really in sight, until suddenly it's staring you right in the face.
Of course one day, my work at Metorik will be done. That time will arrive when Metorik is longer of use to any one or when it's acquired and another group of people continue to run it. But I suppose my point here is that it's foolish to think completely one more task or feature or improvement will be what makes it done.
August 24, 2022:
After years of thinking about this question - when will the product be done? - I think I finally have an answer. At least one that works for me.
Success demands evolution. Most impactful creations will be iterated on indefinitely, at least until a better thing comes along. To remain stationary is to accept that things can't be better. And a world where we stand still, marvelling at what we have done rather than dreaming of what we could do, is in my opinion, a boring one.
So I'll keep moving forward. I'll keep adding features. But I won't strive to get it done, convincing myself that one more feature will make all the difference.
I'll accept that it's never done, and perhaps, even celebrate it.