Experiment

The hot workflow for innovation in Silicon Valley is to launch imperfect products, fail as fast as you can, be ready to lose your investment, pivot to the next iteration. Shouldn’t we run our personal lives with the same refined commitment to success?

When I have a new idea, my priority is to make a thorough draft while the concept is still crystalizing. This is the moment with the most information about why it’s important, and how it’s linked with related influences. It’s also when I have the enthusiasm to visualize the whole project.

I usually let projects sit for about 48 hours, to be sure I really want to do them. Then I make the project real by taking the first step (buying the url, sending an email…) Then I schedule production and launch into my next few days, weeks, or months.

I launched my first youtube channel in about 30 days. Once I had conceptualized this book, I promptly set aside a month for writing the first draft.

I have a sense of urgency about the next projects and they are really more compelling than others’ invitations.

Lots of things don’t work. This is discouraging. But I realize that so many things I made were just a little too early. Now I complete production, move on, and let them radiate.

The benefit to running experiments, launching and failing fast is that you speed up the learning process, about yourself and the world. What do you do well? What do you hate doing? What resonates with the folks you want to work and play with?

The experimental mode of action enables you to take your ideas seriously (and playfully!), practice making stuff, observe their interactions (rather than dreaming, doubting, or speculating), and change course without shame.

In 2017 I opened and closed a dance school. I realized that people took the “ending” a bit too seriously. I wrote the history of my company on the wall and explained “That was version 11. We’re just moving on to v.12.”