Perfectionism can ruin the best of ideas. Identify it early to save your company.

“Perfection is the enemy of the good” is a quote from Voltaire that my partner Dave uses frequently and it applies in spades to startups. If you or your partner are perfection freaks you are in big trouble. There is absolutely no room in a startup for this type of thinking. I bet I got your attention now!

There is a certain amount of arrogance in thinking that you and your team 100% understand how your product should operate and how your future users want to use the product. Product iteration is at the core of every company including Apple. The iPhone is not a breakthrough from a cellular phone perspective. A cellular phone with a touchscreen interface is an innovation but I would argue is an iteration on an old design. Perfectly designed product that no one cares about is a waste of your time and potentially your investor’s money.

Let’s be honest, we all know someone who plays the “quality is the only attribute worth measuring” argument at every meeting. There is no room for that person in a startup. The idea of “good enough” is the only approach during the startup phase. So how do you guard against letting team members manage to some perfection standard?

First, you need to identify that person early in your recruitment journey. What does a person like that sound like? Here are a few red flags:

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