Trade Show TalesBlog

Show Your Work | Perfection vs. Good Enough

April 8th, 2016 COMMENTS

Helpful Hand

We all have our comfortable work routines, particularly in the morning. For me, there’s the mandatory cup of black tea and reading Seth Godin’s daily post. His ability to communicate timely, relevant advice in an engaging and digestible email is always inspirational.

A couple of weeks ago, he wrote Show Your Work, and I’ve found myself revisiting it again and again. I suspect that you struggle, as do we, with the challenge of perfection vs. good enough. How much longer do you finesse the design? When are the setup instructions clear and logical? Is the packaging more than sufficient but perhaps not a “work of art”? At some point, it’s time. You need to hear from your customers.

Over the years, we’ve learned that it’s OK to “release” if you’ve done your best under the circumstances. The mistake is not listening to feedback and making adjustments. And honestly, that can be so much harder for people and organizations because then it’s no longer about perfection. It’s about ego. I’ll spare you my rant about ego in the workplace. That’s a separate (and much longer) rant.

Anyway… Seth says it so much better than me. Enjoy.

Show Your Work (Seth Godin)

welcomeIt’s tempting to sit in the corner and then, voila, to amaze us all with your perfect answer.

But of course, that’s not what ever works.

What works is evolving in public, with the team. Showing your work. Thinking out loud. Failing on the way to succeeding, imperfecting on your way to better than good enough.

Do people want to be stuck with the first version of the iPhone, the Ford, the Chanel dress? Do they want to read the first draft of that novel, see the rough cut of that film? Of course not.

Ship before you’re ready, because you will never be ready. Ready implies you know it’s going to work, and you can’t know that. You should ship when you’re prepared, when it’s time to show your work, but not a minute later.

The purpose isn’t to please the critics. The purpose is to make your work better.

Polish with your peers, your true fans, the market. Because when we polish together, we make better work.

–Mel White


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or



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