daringfireball archives

Is nothing better than mediocrity?

Mull this over this weekend and get back to me:

Today John Gruber wrote this little gem in his review of the iPhone’s
Copy and Paste abilities:

That we had to wait two years for the iPhone’s text selection and pasteboard is a good example of one aspect of the Apple way: better nothing at all than something less than great.

... it’s simply incomprehensible to some people that it might be better to have no text selection/pasteboard implementation while waiting for a great one than to have a poor implementation in the interim.

Is it better to release something mediocre than to wait to release something great? Too often I hear this excuse: “this is better than what we have now.” This is a tempting excuse to spew out of your mouth, because no one can argue with it. Of course it’s better. It’s easy to be better. But is it great? Is it awesome? Are you cheating your customers or viewers of something that would blow their minds?

What do you think? Is it better to release early and often, improving on a”good” idea in public? Or is it better to wait until an idea strikes this beautiful chord of greatness and then unleash it on the world?

posted by jason on Friday, Jun 26, 2009 · 12 comments