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Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare • Apr 9, 2012

Done is better then perfect - True or False?

Have you heard this quote?
Screen shot 2012-04-09 at 5.05.38 PM
We live in a world where perfection is regarded highly. But in all the hustle-bustle of getting things 'perfect', we keep on delaying things.
'Attention to Detail' is what makes products/services work great, but should there be a time-limit? Or an eye for perfection (or getting close to perfection) is what is the need of the hour?

Your views please.
I have suffered a lot from this search for perfection. I am not obsessed by it. Yet it has slowed me many times simply because I know that things could be done better.
I am much wiser now.
My strategy now is: First make something fit for the purpose. Then work on bettering it.

One statement that gets my goat is: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Apr 9, 2012
My vote goes to perfection. With perfection in mind; things are done much better than when focus is on getting things 'done'. Of course this is totally context based.
ISHAN TOPRE • Apr 9, 2012
In real life mostly the things are in a sequence. Hence if we are perfecting a particular aspect of that line would result in a bottle-neck. While perfecting the complete set-up would requires "obsession".

...Am I sounding confused?
Anoop Kumar
Anoop Kumar • Apr 9, 2012
My strategy now is: First make something fit for the purpose. Then work on bettering it.
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare • Apr 9, 2012
Looks like everyone on CE believes in 'perfection' more.
CE Designer
CE Designer • Apr 10, 2012
By just getting it done you leave room for errors i believe. It depends on the risks involved in what you are doing. High risk applications require perfection and great attention to detail.
But perfection takes time where you question yourself on every move you make. Sometimes unnecessarily. You spend too much time and effort trying to answer these questions perfectly while the answer was really simple all the while.
We as engineers should ultimately aim for perfection and ask questions just to be safe. With practice you will become perfect at being perfect because practice makes perfect 👍😎
Putting a time limit in perfection is reasonable but the limit itself should also be reasonable. Without limits we can get sidetracked and go beyond our scope and into the unncecessary. A reasonable time limit will help us stay focussed and diligent. Sometimes we can make brilliant break throughs when put under pressure. With a time limit you must plan.
Oceanliner • Apr 10, 2012
I enjoy interesting topics like this. First I'd like to make a distinction between perfect and fault free in relation to the example above (By CE Designer) about high risk applications. In my view something may very well be imperfect and fault free at once, while the other way around might be less probable.

That being said I think that engineers seldom strive towards perfection in favour of more analytical problem solving that usually involves trade-offs or compromises. Of course there might be perfect trade-offs but I'd generally say that if a compromise has been done then the result is not perfect.

Just recently I finished the Steve Jobs biography and the founder of Apple is on several occasions pitted against another computer era icon Bill Gates. The personalities and business choices of these two individuals capture the question of this thread fairly well. Gates is more of an engineer than Steve Jobs ever was and he choose to paint with a big brush and have his software and later his company represented on many different types of machines and markets (Windows is far from the only product). Jobs on the other hand was in many senses a perfectionist many times making choices for his products that did not make sense technically or economically but that fit his vision of how the product would feel look or function.

The answer to the original questions lay in whom of Gates or Jobs that I resonated with during the course of the book. To be frank I have never been an "apple-person" and could not agree to and get my head around the concept, and I generally sided with Gates who had a more engineering like trade-off perspective.
durga ch
durga ch • Apr 10, 2012
it as well might vary with contexts, for activities which are not time oriented such such developing a skill need to be perfect, however long it might take to attain that perfection, but in case of activities which demand time based action I think 'done' is just fine, becasue the requirements of such activities keep changing with time and \perfect\ today might be useless for tomorrow\s requirement,
CE Designer
CE Designer • Apr 11, 2012
You know when you try hard to do something and it doesn't work out and when you don't try it does?
Like when you try to throw that crumpled paper in the trash can. You get poised for the act, take your aim and calculate the trajectory and even take into consideration wind currents in your room. You take close to 30 seconds before you actually shoot and then you miss 😕😡 😁
But then there is the time when you just dont give a damn and casually throw that crumpled up old paper in the bin and you score in a time of 1 second.
Thats very frustrating isn't it.
If you aim for perfection then don't let it frustrate you. The moment you get frustrated stop.
Try tackling the problem at a different angle. You may be overlooking something or you may be looking at something too much.
Like Ramani says, just give it a throw sometimes and if you miss you can try again because now you know how to adjust your aim 😉
Mr.Don • Apr 12, 2012
True and False 😀 - that's it ☕
Vivien.hugo • Apr 13, 2012
If time permits, then try to perfect it. If not, try to make fault free.
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare • Apr 13, 2012
If time permits, then try to perfect it. If not, try to make fault free.
^ This is quite practical. 😀

But isn't perfection that we strive for in the end?
Donagh • Apr 18, 2012
I always settle for less than perfect. My preferences are simply just too ambitious to attain in one go and I am quite lazy.😘
eternalthinker • Apr 18, 2012
When I do something, I try to analyze how much perfection is actually required for this particular task.
We have only few hours in a day, and it's always good to save time whenever you can 😀

But, I dig perfection. When I am working on an idea I love, I push through time limits to make it perfect.
When we're creating our best ideas, why should they be anything less than perfect? 😀
Depends on the task. Everyone wants perfection in everything. We need to think on what needs perfection.
Less important things are better done than perfect, where as some things would be useless if not perfect, even if done quickly.
avii • Apr 21, 2012
I say it depends on what you are doing. Doing a college project ? Then just done is better. Arranging a gaming event like IGC, then perfection comes to matter

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