This is a short random release about the challenge of letting your work go off into the world and dealing with the consequences later.

I have seen so much great music and interesting projects remain unshared and undiscovered. Sat on a computer. Or stuck in a mind. Not because an audience wouldn’t be interested. Not because it isn’t potentially great. But because the creator, author, producer or maker has chosen not to release it into the world. It happens so often that I sometimes have a sinking feeling when I am privy to something really good that hasn’t been ‘shipped’ so far. I worry that the person behind it may get second thoughts – for whatever reason – and not make it happen, not put it into the world, leaving it only as a unrealised dream.

This is the ultimate shame because I believe sharing projects and product that may not be ‘perfect’ but are important and urgent is necessary. Worrying about if it is perfect, or whether everyone in the world will love it, or whether it will reap the maximum potential return, has got to be secondary.  That thought process is so debilitating. I believe you can not get to that maximum point of creativity or impact without ‘testing’ it in the world first. Because once you share and get some feedback, you can then iterate and make improve and make it / do it better and better. 

Let it be known I have suffocated a lot of my own ideas and projects in the past due to the same negative thought process. I have even killed off projects that were seemingly working but apparently not fast enough and I lost patience which led to a level of inertia and eventual death for that project. Examples for me include MESH Culture, NBTM Publishing and many more. Nowadays I’ve decided to be intentional that once I have developed an idea to the max level I can at the time, I will get it out in the world, in whatever way as soon as possible knowing that is a part of the process and the information I get back will only help me. No fear. So like a kid that makes a paper plane, I’ll just have a go, let it fly and if it falters, I’ll work out how to tweak and make it better. Then I’ll go again, let it fly again. Inevitably, the plane will get damn good at some point. Then we may see a wonderful paper plane fly through the sky, people may even marvel at the paper plane making and flying skills and then maybe maybe they could be inspired to iterate on it and do one themselves.

By Yaw Owusu