Why I'm Not Over Careful Anymore?

Here are reasons why
Huy Ngo
Feb 16, 2020

Carefulness is important part to shows your responsibility and heart at work. I used to be a very careful person. In high school, my teacher once punished the whole class for not writing explanation for multi-choices homework, except 2 students. I’m one. From my opinion, carefulness is very important and it gains you many benefit:

  • It shows your quality at work
  • It gains you trust from bosses and clients
  • It makes you proud. No one is happy if they are blamed for silly mistakes

It’s definitely right that carefulness is one of the most important aspects of a good work. But sometimes, we have to put the perfectionism away for something that matter more.

Timing release Minimal Viable Product

“If you don’t embarrassed about your first version, you’d launched too late” - Reid Hoffman - Executive Chairman of LinkedIn

In the old days, delivery a software is a complicated and costly process. Users had to pay a lot for every piece of software they use. That means, the cost of 1st impression is extremely high. If you give user something they don’t want, it’s end of the world! Do you remember legacy water fall model? The earlier you catch errors, the more cost and effort you saved. Imagine what would happen if you had defined a bad software requirement or a system design!

Things has changed. Nowadays, with the raise of cloud computing and social media, it’s much easier to delivery a software and reach potential user. Users, in turns, no longer required to pay hundreds of dollar to try out a software. They are also more open for other tries and willing to give feedback. As a result, the value of 1st impression is plummeted.

Studies shows that, the effective and successful teams have high rate of delivery. Delivery software to potential customer and get their feedback is the best measurement to evaluate your product. The term Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is getting more and more meaning nowadays. Instead of worries too much about all aspects, they tried to release MVP as soon as possible. Timing for release the MVP is now more important. Release a MVP in time, or you will lose business opportunities.

“Launch fast and break things. Fail fast”

80 - 20 Rules

20% of your works contribute 80% of value. In other words, as everybody has the same fixed amount of time, we should focus more on works that bring higher value. At some points, you will feel review and correct details are not contributing as much value. This is time to change.

As you grow, the works that bring your most value are also changing. When I’ve just graduated, coding is the most valuable things I can contribute. This is reasonable because I was lack of experience on all of other aspects. But later on, as my experience and skill sets improved, I found that it’s more efficient if I contribute more on the high level things. The implementation in details, will be more effective to be assigned to junior members, who eager to code like I used to be.

It doesn’t mean you should be careless

Being less careful doesn’t mean you should be careless. It’s more about management and delegate.

You are releasing MVP ASAP does not mean you don’t care about mistakes. The product may have limitations, but the team should be well aware of those. From management point of view, we prioritize the release. The limitations will be worked out with priority order. It’s different than careless, where we don’t really care or even may not know about their existences.

Besides, working on high level stuffs does not equals to careless. The difference here is, you are not focus on details but delegating them to others. Both you and the delegated person should be careful on the assigned tasks. The fact is, you should pay even more attention on your new tasks since mistakes on high level stuffs bring more impact.