Good Enough

Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 7/11/2007

At the July 2006 Affiliate Summit, Dave Taylor quoted Mark Widower as saying, "pretty good is better than perfect." ( The point was that it is possible to spend an eternity trying to get a website to perfection and never deploy the website. Dave Taylor tells us that with a blog the website can be out and available to the public even while it is still being written.

Perfection is still what we should aim for, but I think we can say that pretty good is good enough. I donít know of anything that does not have at least one mistake. That is part of what it is to have people do things. I do not like finding mistakes in my work, but they are usually there anyway. The larger a project is the harder it is to find all of the mistakes. As an author, I would like to say that my books are perfect. I would like to say that they have no grammatical errors. I would like to say that every word is used correctly. I would like to say that I donít have any paradoxes in there pages. Unfortunately, I am human and the computer is not smart enough to catch all of my mistakes. So, the question becomes, how good is good enough? If it goes into print, it cannot be changed easily. Are my readers going to look at my work and say, ďhe knows what he is talking about or he tells a good story, but he just has too many mistakes?Ē I think that at some point they will, but I do not know what point that is. Mistakes break the flow when one is reading. Most readers are smart enough to figure out what the author is saying, just like they would if they were talking to someone and the other person did not say something quite right. If the reader has to stop every few sentences to figure out what the author is trying to say he will forget what he is reading and rather than moving on, he will put the book down and never pick it up again.

Still, there is a point in there where an author or a webmaster has to draw a line and accept some variation of pretty good rather than perfection. The author looks at his manuscript and thinks that he has found and corrected all of the mistakes. The webmaster looks at his website and thinks it is correct. Both of these have the expectation that they may come back later and find a mistake that was not visible before. Time away from a work allows us to see mistakes that we could not see before, but too much time may mean that the work is never published.