Why You Should Stop Worrying About Being Perfect

I sell some audiobooks through Audible (owned by Amazon). My first book went live last September, it makes about $300 a month, and I still have yet to receive a single payment from Amazon.

Why?

Because Amazon’s form to provide your banking info doesn’t work. Literally.

I entered my account number & my routing number, clicked saved, refreshed the page to double check and… it was all gone.

I did this about 3 times a month, every month, just to see if I had gone crazy or if it was a one-off error. Nope. Always broken.


The first version of my first app looked terrible. I wouldn’t show it to people in person because I was embarrased.

But I put it on the App Store, and the first month it made $1,500, or 3x what it cost to make.


Have you read Hatching Twitter? Fantastic book about the history of Twitter from formation until IPO. Not only is it well written, but it’s largely accurate, according to multiple Twitter investors.

The biggest takeway from the book is that behind the scenes, Twitter was a shitshow. But they absolutely nailed the product.

So much so that it’s largely unchanged from when it launched 8 years ago.


Why does any of this matter?
Amazon’s business did fine while this was broken. My app did fine when I launched, even though it hardly passed as a solid 1.0. And Twitter of course is one of the top 10 iconic technologies companies and isn’t even a decade old.

These examples of awfulness passed because they did nail the few things that mattered.

Amazon is great at selling my audiobooks.

My app made users happy because I was the first to pay attention to them.

And Twitter had a practically perfect product out the gate.

All that other stuff that we tend to think matters (e.g. how the product looks, getting coverage on HN or TC) doesn’t, as long as you get the most important things right.

Don’t worry about being perfect. Just do your thing, and do it well!

Say hi on Twitter!

Think About Your Life’s Default Settings

25% of iPhone owners use Apple Maps, even though Google Maps is widely considered a superior product.

Default choices are powerful.

It’s reasonable to assume this phenomenon occurs in other places in life.

Stop and think: what are the default choices in your life regarding:

  • Food
  • Work
  • Exercise
  • Building relationships

By changing those defaults, you make good choices opt OUT decisions instead of opt IN decisions.

Here’s how I change my defaults:

Exercise

  • Join a triathalon training team

Work Habits

  • Join a coworking space
  • Find smart, hard-working friends.

Positive relationships

  • Set recurring dinners and phone calls

Food

  • This is the hardest IMO. With Instacart, tons of local fast food, sugar drinks everywhere, it’s hard to opt out entirely.
  • Eat before you go to grocery store. Buy ONLY non-high caloric content food at grocery store
  • Make friends with people who eat healthier than you