when to push and when to wait

September 13th, 2011   |   Business Advice

As I mentioned yesterday, we are launching the new collections for Jess LC next week.

But the truth is, I really wanted to launch today.

In fact, I really wanted to launch the first week of September. But it didn’t happen. And for a while that bothered me quite a bit. I’ve been working on these collections since April and June. Each seemed easy at the onset and were slated to be completed over a month ago.

But life didn’t turn out that way. And since so much of the delays resulted in making the products better, I was understanding of many of the setbacks.

However, now that I am down to the wire, of being thisclose to launching, I was seriously bummed yesterday when I decided to hold off another week.

It’s an age old question: when do you just launch and get it out there, and when do you hold back and wait just a little bit longer?

Many people are not doing what they want to do because they are afraid of trying, failing, or not doing it perfectly. This perpetual delay often causes their dreams to remain theoretical. As Seth Godin says, you gotta ship.

I, on the other hand, am not that way. I realize that as much as I want things to be absolutely p-e-r-f-e-c-t, that goal is impossible, and I work to ship and go forward improving along the way. And yesterday I was tempted to barrel ahead with the launch simply because I am so darn sick of waiting to share with you all what I’ve been working on.

But after a lot of thinking, I decided to wait.

I thought about the pros and cons of rushing the launch this week versus waiting until next Monday. We could have launched if I worked around the clock last night on all of the product pages, lookbooks, inventory, and marketing. We could have had the products available for pre-order to ship next Monday. It could have gotten more buzz simply because it was out an extra week longer than it would be otherwise.

Yet, I held off. I decided to value a more steady, quality approach to the last minute details and the ability to ship orders the same day we launch the collections. I decided to tie up loose ends before sharing it with the world. Though it still won’t mean there will be a perfect launch, it will be more excellent.

And most importantly of all, it will still be launched. Period. 

So though I know this isn’t an Earth-shattering post or revelation, I do think it’s important to think about the balance between shipping vs. not shipping, and shipping well.

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  • http://snappycasual.tumblr.com kelsey williams

    My husband is a shipper and I am not. I will write a blog post and then just let it sit. Forever. Wondering if I’ll ever feel “done” with it. I’m not sure how to get over this!

  • http://www.maggieroseonline.com Maggie Rose

    Ryan and I were just talking about something similar. In his job, he works on some of the various brands ‘tablets’ (think iPad-ish) that run Windows. He brought one home and we were playing with it and I asked if he’d rather have an iPad, and he said yes, because Windows was designed for desktop, not for touchscreen. Improvements were planned for the next release. To make a long story short, Apple tends to not announce release dates in advance because they want the product to be perfect (as close as technology can get, anyway). When something like the iPad is released and other brands want a similar product on the market, they are already several years behind in development and rush to put things out WITH bugs that “oh we’ll release an update” or “that’ll be fixed in our next version”. It cheapens the product and the brand image. Nothing wrong with waiting, especially if you’re the first ;)

  • http://www,.cherryrunway.com Jenipher

    This is a GREAT post and really perfectly needed for my thoughts today.

    Thanks for writing about it!
    Can’t wait to see the new collection. :)

    Smiles,
    Jenipher

  • http://www.makeundermylife.com Jess

    Kelsy, here’s my thought: just press “publish” on those posts. Stop waiting for them to be perfect and just make sure you keep shipping. Over time each post will improve. Improvement comes with practice.

    Maggie, I’m happy to hear that I’m taking the “Apple” approach. To know that there is a large company out there that doesn’t set deadlines for launches makes me feel better. For some reason I always thought ‘big companies’ set a deadline and did it no matter what.

    Jenipher, thanks! I can’t wait to share it all too!

  • http://prettyasthemorning.blogspot.com Cara

    Jess, thanks so much for this post–I have been thinking about it for a month. I am such a die-hard perfectionist and since I am also a high-functioner I can get away with imposing these ridiculous standards too often in my life. But it also means that some things that I really want to happen just don’t because I can’t figure out how to execute them perfectly. But I have really been letting this post sink in and finally applying what I learned! Thank you, thank you!