Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction – Harry Truman

Harry Truman was the 33rd president of the U.S., he is most known for his Truman doctrine: The principle that the US should give support to countries or peoples threatened by Soviet forces or Communist insurrection. The doctrine was seen by the Communists as an open declaration of the Cold War.

Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction

– Harry Truman

A big hurdle facing many entrepreneurs or people with ideas, is their high expectation for executing. Many entrepreneurs, business people and people in general want to do things properly, to a certain level of quality or perfection. This commitment to quality leads to increasing the required time to perform this action by 3 to 10 folds. The added time risks of having the idea or project abandoned.

In some cases, perfect action leads to procrastination and less execution.
To give you few examples:
– There is a youtuber that uploads average quality youtube videos, she has a rule: if it takes more than 1 day to create and edit, she would not create the video. Another youtuber create masterpieces, great content and editing. When compared, the youtuber that does not care about quality uploads 50x more videos and as a result have 20x more subscribers.
– Writing content is very time consuming. A blogger i follow spits 3-5 articles every day, while i can barely write one and sometimes it takes me a week to write a well researched one. When compered the other blog has at least 5x more content than mine, and thus is regarded more important by search engines, and thus the blog get way more visitors.

All this to say that sometimes it is better to offer a low or average quality product than waste a lot of time to be able to offer a top quality product, and end up not offering any.

A perfect action is better than an imperfect action, but if to get a perfect action we risk to end up having an inaction, then it’s better to have an imperfect action.
To translate it into a common quote: Something is better than nothing.

Some related quotes:
Inaction is the greatest risk of all – Tim Ferris
Dale Carnegie – Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.
The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking any risks – Mark Zuckerberg

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Abdallah Alaili

I'm a serial entrepreneur (mostly tech) and micro-investor (tiny), this is a blog to learn from other entrepreneurs and spread the wisdom to many more. You can find me on: Instagram - Twitter - Linkedin - more about me