Jordan Ogren

December 20, 2021

The illusion of incremental edits + how to avoid it

How do you know when something is ready?

What is your model around knowing when to edit or finalize and ship?

Nothing destroys traction more than nit-picky edits. Here's an example to show this truth:

I've been working on a website page now for almost three months. It wasn't ready to launch until maybe a month or so ago. But there have been constant edits to the copy and layout, resulting in it still being a "work-in-progress."

Yes, I could have worked quicker and provided more guidance, but it probably isn't improving when you edit the same copy over ten times.

So rather than have real analytics—people using the webpage­—for a month, it's still in the oven, unable to *actually improve.

The thing is, we feel like we're making improvements when editing things repeatedly. But we aren't. If anything, we are making it worse because we are overthinking.

So, how do you avoid making infinite incremental changes that delay shipping?

I don't have an answer as it's something I do and many of those I work with and for do. But I have some ideas:
  • Set a limit to the number of revisions (this works great with copy, graphics, or videos)
  • Have two rounds of edits, (1) ask people who have domain expertise, make those edits, and then (2) people who will use or see it that do not have the expertise, and then finalize and ship
  • If it's something big, use versions (v1/v2) to break up the edits and allow you to ship something to your audience while still refining it

While none of those ideas are revolutionary, they will result in a better X and allow you to finish it quicker and get real-world feedback—which is better than boardroom feedback.

How do you avoid this erroneous mistake? Reply and let me know!

Marketeer Insights ⚔️
  • Avoid the illusion of incremental edits (perfection) by having hard or soft rules to ship good enough work
  • Real-world feedback will always trump boardroom feedback
  • Speed is essential to success and making endless edits is the fastest way to slow things down

🧠 + ❤️ // JO