While growing up, I remember my mother polishing her silver coffee and tea service to perfection. And if it didn’t look just the way she desired, particularly on special occasions, she’d withhold its use in favor of her everyday service set.
Perfect to my mother meant completely without blemish. As soon as someone touched this pristinely-polished silver though, fingerprints were all over it and this bothered her immensely. So instead of affording us the opportunity to enjoy a truly beautiful and elegant presentation, she withdrew it.
Perfection is impossible to achieve in everyday life. Every product we produce, every project we develop, every service we offer is subject to outside influence, and thus the possibility of becoming flawed.
Anything we do that is held hostage to revision after revision, rewrite after rewrite or meeting after meeting so that it’s perfect before it reaches the end user is offensive. Why? Because it denies others something they could have benefited from prior to all of these perfection steps.
Polishing something doesn’t make it perfect, just shinier. We should stop the polishing and decide to just act instead. If not, someone else will beat us to it.