Naval Ravikant, AngelList co-founder and investor in companies like Uber and Twitter, thinks shipping is super important for startup success.
Naval is not the only one who thinks so.
Steve Jobs famously said, “Real artists ship.”
Seth Godin is also a big proponent of shipping. He is the one who introduced me and many others to the term.
Why Is Shipping So Important?
Because in life we create value for others through our creations. Our growth and in some cases survival depends on shipping. For example, we can’t eat unless someone ‘ships’ food. This is the kind of shipping that goes on. If it stops people will die.
Shipping a professional project at work or for yourself may not be as important as cooking food but important enough for you to care. The professional world relies a lot on deadlines to get the work done. Shipping makes sure you meet the deadline.
Truth of Shipping
Frequent deadlines are good to get in the habit of shipping. Seth advises us to blog daily.
“Everyone should write a blog every day, even if no one reads it. There are countless reasons why it’s a good idea and I can’t think of one reason it’s a bad idea.”
“If you know you have to write a blog post tomorrow, something in writing, something that will be around 6 months from now, about something in the world, you will start looking for something in the world to write about. You will seek to notice something interesting and to say something creative about it. Well, isn’t that all we’re looking for? The best practice of generously sharing what you notice about the world is exactly the antidote for your fear.”Seth Godin, on The Unmistakable Creative Podcast
One may argue that constant shipping may not amount to anything if a person continues to ship random shit. But no one can do that for long because shipping is (done in) public. When you ship you accept that there may be criticism. So like any sensible human being improve your standards sooner than later. This is why if you ship regularly, you get better even if you suck in the beginning.
Daily cadence is good. If a project is big then you can break it into small chunks and tackle it a day at a time.
Do you think you can use this approach to move forward with your personal projects or to build things at work?