Strong opinions, weakly held

Shipping and editing

Everybody linked to Tom Taylor’s essay, You’ve either shipped or you haven’t. I didn’t, because it was trite and smug. Lots of people liked it because it made them feel good about themselves. He has since admitted that it was trite and smug, not in those exact words. Anyway, even trite, smug essays can provoke great responses. In this case, an essay from Paul Ford about how the skills of editors (who ship all the time, often on a daily basis) apply to the web.


  1. I didn’t read it that way at all until I saw his follow-up post. Read everything but the last sentence that links the thing to the phone antenna debate and it’s an amazing piece. I thought it was about conquering that part of you that will always say, “it’s not ready yet.” That’s a struggle for me. Still. Every time. But once you ship, everything becomes so much more clear. It’s a weird experience, really, when you hit that realization of how poorly you judged what would be important. Shipping is a discipline. I wish someone would have told me that in school or during my first few years in industry. I wish someone would have invited me to “join the club.”

    Anyway, it’s clear I interpreted what he was saying all wrong, but damn if I didn’t get some inspiration from it.

  2. “You’ve either shipped or you haven’t” is actually a very profound and extremely useful insight, as long as it is combined with its necessary corollary: if you’ve shipped with bugs, you haven’t shipped.

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