Here is a great post on a subject that Seth Godin has called Layering. I have always been tempted to follow the first scenario that Seth describes. My personality type always compels me to want to work out the process first. I want it all figured out and buttoned down before I launch any new project or new initiative. But Seth is right about how that practice fails. And I have been for the past two years applying the second scenario and principle of moving forward faster, getting out of the gate all the while continuing to edit and tweak along the way.
Here is Seth's post:
Here's what we used to do:
Create ---> Edit ---> Launch
Here's what happens now:
Create ---> Launch ---> Edit ---> Launch ---> repeat
Someone asked me which post on this blog represented the turning point of its growth. The 'breakthrough' post. It turns out that there wasn't one. Instead, there were 2,500 posts, one after the other, each building (and I was learning from each) as we went.
Wikipedia is built on a bold idea: launch with a few hundred mediocre articles. Challenge people to add a few more. And then, day after day, layer on top of that, improving each one, improving a hundred thousand of them, improving a million of them. One after another, layer after layer.
Squidoo is a bit different. Let each person layer their own page, instead of a crowd. And then, as time goes by and the crowd gets bigger, the new folks are smarter (and building better pages) because they've watched the results that others have layered up.
Organizations that make the same mistakes every day (hidebound ones, rulebook based ones, airlines) rarely get to layer. They don't grow and improve, because they're not organized to do so.
And thus the challenge. We live in a layered world now. Those that plan and plan and then launch are always going to be at a disadvantage to the layerers.
(HT:Seth's Blog: Layering)