#53 The Right Pace

Hello, friends.

Let's talk about speed.

Almost every project we work on has a sense of urgency. This is with good reason. In a lot of cases, there are distinct advantages for moving quickly. Common reasons include, being first to market, gaining quicker feedback and iteration, and seasonality, to name a few. For most people, the quicker they try to ship, the slower they actually launch things. When they do get projects out the door, they're riddled with errors, miscalculations and mediocre execution. All of these scenarios put budgets, timelines and success at risk.

It's like my son's Tae Kwon Do forms. He blitzes through them just to be fast, which produces a slower, sloppier routine. His instructor is constantly telling him to calm down.

Let's clarify:

Expediency does not mean haste.
Fast does not mean reckless.
Speed does not mean rash.
Rapid does not mean thoughtless.

At the end of the day it's about working at the right pace. And the right pace is the one that makes the biggest impact. It creates the most delight and provides the most learning. The right pace is the one that builds lasting trust with your audience.

During my brief stint in the Boy Scouts, I took a course to get my a merit badge for rifle shooting. I started out rushing through the targets and kept missing the required precision until one of my instructors (an ex-special forces guy) stopped me and shared a secret known by all great marksmen:

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

True for merit badges. True for martial arts. Also true for project success.

Until next time.


- David

P.S. In light of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, thought this was a good resource.
P.P.S. This is a long but great read on the state (and future) of design.
P.P.P.S. Nice episode about how to say you're sorry.

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