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Everyone has to start somewhere

If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.
-Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.

 

When I started SB.TV my editing skills were jokes, but I got better. If I’d let being bad at editing stop me from making videos, there’d be no SB.TV. 
-Jamal Edwards, Founder of SB.TV

 

I was hugely ignorant – I barely had a clue how to sharpen a chisel and would pretty much hack away at wood with a hand plane – but lovely objects still took shape under my hands. Looking back, it amazes me.
-Peter Korn, craftsman and author of Why We Make Things and Why it Matters: The Education of a Craftsman.

 

A couple of months back I went on a work trip to Finland with a bunch of bloggers. In preparation, I familiarised myself with their content. Partly so I would have things to say to them, and partly to understand how they came to be successful in the first place.

To start, I went to the very beginning of their blogs. I read their very first entries.

Usually this requires endless scrolling or hitting the ‘older posts’ button a hundred times until you find the very first one. For most well-established bloggers this can be up to 5 years back (an insight in and of itself).

I then browse one or two posts per year up until present day, just to see how their writing style and branding has evolved in that time. It’s always amazing to see just how far they’ve come stylistically. They’ve developed their voice, their content gets better and better, and their writing starts to project a certain confidence that makes it more enjoyable to read.

Bloggers aside, it’s encouraging to see how crude the world’s largest websites looked when they first launched (Twitter is by far the most unrecognisable):

 

Twitter:

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Amazon:

 

101

 

The point I’m trying to make here is this: We all have to start somewhere.

You don’t hit a bullseye on your first try, and the same is to be said about perfecting your craft. It takes time to hone your skills and develop. I’m learning that by writing this blog.

If you’re not embarrassed by your first work, you haven’t taken enough risks with it. I cringe when I read my posts from 2011. But those posts were a start in the right direction. Now it’s your turn. Go on, start something. The more embarrassing and shameful, the better.

2 Comments

  1. Vicki Vicki

    I have noticed this “improvement through doing” with a facebook friend and her art. She made a resolution at the beginning of the year to create a page a day in her sketchbook restricting herself to a 30 minute time allowance. The initial drawings were okay, nothing to exclaim about, but three months into it she is creating rather great drawings filled with colour and creativity. I suppose the more we practice the better we get and her sketchbook is reflecting that in every way.
    Remember how you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice! Oh, and the other old saying that holds true, “Practice makes perfect!”

    • I agree. I like that she evolves with the passing of time and effort put it. I feel that way a little bit sometimes about the content I’m writing now. But I know if I invest time and effort into it something good is bound to come out.

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