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Releasing early, releasing often… and avoiding paralysis by analysis

My name is Laurence Hughes and I’m a perfectionist. But I’m working on it.

I’ve suffered from the painful affliction of perfectionism for as long as I can remember (I blame the mother…) and although I’m much better than I used to be, I don’t think it ever fully leaves you.

Good things undoubtedly come from sweating the details, but a perfectionist streak left unchecked can cause creative endeavours to take longer than they otherwise would, sucking out the initial spark and motivation.

A related affliction – and this particularly applies to coding – is spending so long considering the many different ways to tackle a problem that you end up at a temporary standstill… i.e. paralysis by analysis.

At work, developing software for Greenhill, the perfectionist streak is kept in check because we follow the release early, release often philosophy and our development sprints just don’t allow time for it.

Release early, release often works well when we’re building applications for clients because it leads to a tighter feedback loop between the customers, the client and ourselves; and also leads to new features being released more regularly.

On this, my own website, I’m going to take that principle further and hopefully release even earlier and more often.

So – things may look rough and ready or even broken (temporarily) when you visit this site now or in the future. And in this case I’m OK with that. This isn’t a client’s site – it’s mine. The Minimum Viable Product (or baseline before progressive enhancement) is that visitors can read and navigate the content. Right now, at re-launch, it’s as simple as that. There’s no stylesheet as yet. It was more important for me to get the ball rolling than anything else. Hopefully as you read this, if the site in a state of flux (read: looks like a riot) you’ll still be able to enjoy the content! I have plenty of nice features in the pipeline but they’ll happen bit-by-bit, one step at a time.

This site is a work in progress – a bit like myself!

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