Monthly Archives: November 2010

So…What IS It!? The Answer on the Niemanlab

The good folk at Niemanlab have been kind enough to offer a much wider platform for my musings…starting way back when I sometimes felt like all I had was musings. Now that we’re set to rollout what we’ve got and what we’ll be, it made all kinds of sense for all kinds of reasons to begin the rollout last week ovah ther at haavaad yaad…

here it is.

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Momentum v. First Impressions: Why Perfection is Not an Option

We have had a design glitch…or better, we have changed our mind on the layout of our signup page. The good news is that my partner Irene and I agree (as we tend to on most things, including design) that we have some reworking to do. But what we thought could be resolved quickly with the designer we were using, may now require a more substantial working over — and, it seems, a new designer. And that means a DELAY.

I have gradually gotten used to the fact that the calendar in my head (or even the one I stupidly declare out loud) is essentially worthless. The project has its own calendar. Still, when Irene warned me last night that the delay in question could be “weeks,” we inevitably launch into one of our by now weekly, er, lively conversations.

It is not that Irene is any less impatient than me. By nature, she is in fact probably more impatient. But there are two fundamental differences in our respective outlook on time.  The first, is that she has managed website launches before…and so the lessons I am learning about a project’s calendar, she has learned a dozen times before. She reminds me that no one has imposed any fixed deadlines, and repeats the importance of first impressions. She is right, of course.

Still….still. I have learned over the past year that a startup must also always measure up with its own limits. Of time, of costs, of people’s attention spans. I have learned this in the lonely days when this project had a lot less to show for itself (including Irene!). Perfection is not an option. The ball must keep rolling forward, even if you gotta keep kicking it up that Sisyphean hill…Momentum is everything. It is what we need to both solidify our standing and feed the imagination of potential partners, investors, consumers — and ourselves, the ones working on the damn thing every day. 

In a follow-up phone call near midnight, we are both a bit calmer. And back again on the same page. A) We can only have a layout of the signup page that truly satisfies us both. B) we need those forecasted “weeks” delay to be more like several days…Yeah, yeah: but just how many!?

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