Joining the The Cult of Done

If you haven’t read the Cult of Done (by bloggers Bre Pettis and Kio Stark), click over to Pettis’ blog and read it. It’s worth every bit of the 3 minutes it will take.

The Cult of Done

Somewhat independently of the referenced blog post (or manifesto, or whatever you choose to call it) I have been on a path to arriving at similar conclusions. So when I found this post online, I was ecstatic. I have already been a proponent of it’s a good idea to implement a good idea, taught in yesplus courses. Specifically my issue was with keeping things for long periods as ‘work in progress’ or ‘draft’, and many things never came out of draft. On the writing, photography, and creative front, I have many unfinished projects littering my hard drive.

The Cult of Done says everything is a draft. I prefer to turn that concept around. Nothing is a draft.

Now when I save or share anything I’m creating, it never has a stamp of work in progress. No ‘to do’ notes in slides, no placeholders in spreadsheets or blog post drafts. Or comments inside source code like /* clean this up some day */. No more. Working on an image in Lightroom? No more unfinished drafts. However far I get, I’ll export it out and publish to Flickr. At every stage, each file I save is a finished product. It’s not perfect, but I can ship it anyway if I choose to.

A few weekends ago I was writing up some thoughts on a particular experience I had just gone through, and I published it as a PDF for Shraddha to read on our shared DropBox folder. A few hours later I remembered more details, added a few paragraphs to my write-up, and re-published the PDF. Then the next morning I remembered more, and added more text. And then I did it again, and again. All told, I must have had 10 or 12 successive versions of  that PDF, each one longer than the next. However none of them were incomplete drafts. They were all done pieces. Had Shraddha picked up the PDF to read, any one of them would have been a good (enough) account of the event. Turns out she never did read any earlier version, and she only got to read my final final version after two days. But the beauty of the whole process is that I could have stopped (and I did stop) whenever I wanted, and there was no ‘final cleanup’ to be done.

Having watched an interview with Seth Godin, I’m realizing that most of his projects are done this way. He can stop whenever he wants, and frequently he does.

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3 Responses to Joining the The Cult of Done

  1. Beautiful.
    Reminds me of the the wisdom “Move from one level of perfection to the next level of perfection. As against trying to move from lack to perfection”. Example: iPhone sees refinements every year. But it was a “complete” product each year.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. kriyer says:

    Dear Anoop,
    Good reading. Though told in a simp
    le script, it conveys a noble idea, practical in every sense. Nice! Keep sharing.


  3. Sindhu says:

    this is a pretty interesting idea, Anoop. will try to work on creative projects with this idea in mind next time on. thanks for sharing!

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