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Entrepreneurs / Entrepreneurship

'Good Enough' Is Fine for Getting Started but It's Not a Worthy Goal

Entrepreneurs can afford neither perfectionism nor complacency.
'Good Enough' Is Fine for Getting Started but It's Not a Worthy Goal
Image credit: Maskot | Getty Images
- Guest Writer
Managing Director of ROYCE New York
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Good enough is a ubiquitous cliche of entrepreneurship, particularly in the start up space in which the MVP is literally just that -- the minimum. In fact, Eric Ries first defined it in The Lean Startup as the 'version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the >least effort'.

In this age of MVPs -- products and services that are not sufficiently proficient but operate well enough to garner some revenue and momentum, have we moved away from the traditional wisdom that "good enough never is"? The once oft-invoked Debbi Fields mantra to convey the importance of setting standards so lofty that even flaws are deemed excellent seems to have succumbed to new wisdom: launch now, fix later.

But, that naively assumes there is "later". Nothing is guaranteed in business. There is no tomorrow.

Related: 9 Signs Your Perfectionism Is Out Of Control

The argument can be made that ROYCE is not constrained by the startup standards, given our business' life cycle maturity. However, despite forty-four years under the ROYCE banner, we still remain cautiously optimistic about what our future holds in the constantly changing, fundamentally fickle fashion accessories industry. Why? We cannot confidently rest on the laurels of past success; rather, microeconomics emphasizes that we operate at the margin, not the average. Our 93rd review on Yelp is just as important, if not more important, than the initial feedbacks we received when our shop opened last year. Our Spring Summer 2018 collection has to be as good, if not better than my father's initial catalog launch in February 1974.

Savoring our past success is a slippery slope, hence why Debbi Fields' prudence is plastered on the walls of our factory, warehouse, boutique stockrooms and computer desktops. Of course, we realize it is purely idealistic to strive for perfection, characterized by impeccable standards and zero human error, as doing so can not only hinder growth, but also adversely impact our team's morale and resolve. After all, perfection is a moving target. While we avoid fostering an environment defined by pressured employees trying, with futility, to achieve unattainable KPIs, there must be a sense of urgency.

Related: 11 Ways to Beat Procrastination

Not to be confused with a sense of emergency, we have cultivated a culture of urgency, embodied in both attitude and behavior, which is hyper-conscious of our sheer determination and awareness that we are in it to win. A paradox of success is that as it increases, urgency recedes inversely. Employees exhibit a sense of pride when we worked hard and it led to a big win. That's great, we all deserve to celebrate our collective success, but it transforms into a detriment when it leads to complacency. Forty-four years later, we are still susceptible to this every day. The only way we ensure there is a tomorrow is with a sense of urgency to be more than the minimum good today.

Which Is More Important, Work Ethic or Talent?