#10: Just try stuff

October 7, 2007

We prefer to learn by doing.

We prefer to make a start, see how it goes (see #9: Measure everything) and modify our approach as required, rather than spend too long talking or writing big documents.

As a result of this approach, we need to be prepared to be wrong some (most?) of the time and have a plan to quickly get back on our feet where things don’t work as expected.

We typically make changes to the site everyday. Our development tools and processes are setup specifically to support this.

When we release something new we do our best to ensure it’s ready for prime time. Then we watch closely to see how people actually use it and determine from that how we can make it better and better.

We try not to use the word “beta”, partly because not even all of the software developers we know understand what it means.

It takes more than 9 months to have a baby. In fact the 9 months before the baby is born is only the very beginning. Then the really hard work starts!

The same is true of websites.

We have (eventually) learnt that we will never be finished.

Instead we’re constantly rebuilding the ship at sea.

We don’t plan too far ahead.

We just try to make small decisions and get first things first.

We like this quote from Sir Ken Robinson: “If you’re not prepared to be wrong you’ll never come up with anything original.”

Other posts from the Trade Me Manifesto series: