The top comment on HN for my post “Choose Shipping Over Using The Latest Shiny Framework” was:
“Here’s a confession: I’m afraid to ship. I’m afraid of being rejected and of being dismissed, and of being seen as a failure. So I bullshit myself that “doing the thing” in the latest and greatest new framework, new language will at least mean that I “learnt something”. Failure sounds less irredeemable when you count the dividends of new frameworks learnt!
This is something I can relate to since I had these thoughts multiple times over the last few years. When I started publishing code on github I didn’t want to be criticized that my code is not good enough or even ridiculous. When I submitted an app to the app store I didn’t want anyone to think that my app is useless. When I started writing this blog I felt uncomfortable to hit publish.
The good news and the bad news are that what happens next is usually the same. No one cared about what I did. I didn’t hear any negative feedback simply because I didn’t hear any feedback. It even looked ridiculous to me that I thought that someone might take the time to let me know that what I did is stupid.
I started publishing a lot of repositories. Everything I could think of that I could have open sourced, I did. I also started publishing a lot of apps. At this point I didn’t care about negative feedback anymore. I wanted any kind of feedback. I started getting stars on github and people started opening pull requests. But the angry mob never came, everyone was nice and polite. With the apps the story was a bit different. I get some angry negative reviews and usually get 5-10 emails a day. Some are positive and some are negative and some are very negative, usually all in caps. But honestly I don’t really care besides addressing the issue the user is complaining about. As long as the app makes money and others are happy with it, I don’t really mind any negative feedback. I can’t please everyone.
I’ve also realized that wanting to do something perfect prevents me from doing anything at all. I will always find something that I’m not happy with and that I know can be done better. But “perfect is the enemy of good”. People will usually not care. If they do care it means that it generates interest and to generate interest is not an easy thing to do so it’s actually a good sign.
So next time you have something ready just hit the publish button. And if you see someone who published something for the first time, and you sure you can do it better, give feedback in a constructive way.