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Posted on: Sunday, 24 October 2010 by Rajiv Popat

When was the last time your team actively decided not to ship a feature that was done?

When was the last time you had a fully complete post sitting on your hard disk but you told yourself it was not good enough and decided to delete it?

There are times when you watch a lousy movie and you wonder why the production department even bothered releasing it?

As creative individuals we like working on stuff.

Stopping often becomes hard for three primary reasons:

One: The more effort you put into stuff the more attached you become with the stuff you are working on. This attachment creates blind spots and an inability to judge the output of your efforts objectively.

Two: When the creative endeavors have financial aspects involved realizing that you need to stop becomes even more difficult. Yes the movie is lousy, but if we release it at-least we make something out of it. Yes the product is lousy, but even if we release it at a reduced price we stand to earn something out of it. Lets just give it out for free and try to get some users.

Three: When creative endeavors occupy a lot of your time, stopping them, becomes an ego issue. Stopping now is just going to mean the world is going to know about it and think you were an idiot to continue for this long. If the product, the blog post or the endeavor was your idea to begin with, the ego at stake is even higher when it comes to stopping.

Gears are switched. You move to an auto pilot mode where you are doing nothing but building mediocre features on an already mediocre framework. Version after version of the product are rolled out. Every mediocre blog post on your disk is published. Every boring movie is released.

Before you know it, its not just your product, your blog or your movie. You are boring. You are mediocre. You are lame. We do not care about you any more. You are that guy with a boring blog, that director who makes boring movies or that software body shop that hires cheap cogs and builds lousy products.

If you have a product that you are deeply passionate about and believe in, don't worry be crappy works, but if you are working on auto pilot and just not feeling it, shipping stuff that is boring, makes you boring.

Stop. Give up shamelessly. Hit the Delete button. Now.