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Startup Secret No. 22: Some garbage is to be expected

Don't expect to get it right at the start. Starting a project is supposed to be hard.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read

"You have a finite amount of crap in you. You just have to put it out there."

--Roman Mars, Producer, 99% Invisible

When you're starting a new project, chances are you won't get it right at the start. Roman, who produces the awesome 99% Invisible podcast and radio segment about design (you must subscribe to it now if you haven't already), was talking to me about starting his career in audio programs. The first shows he did were pretty bad. He was told to expect that and to keep pushing, because you can't get good at something until you push through the bad.

"If your first show is your best, you're in trouble," he says.

Eventually you'll get it dialed in. You'll figure out how to pace yourself, you'll find your market, you'll get to a team flow state with your developers. But it takes time and it takes flushing out the packing material of your mind before it happens.

When it does, and not before, you can start asking people for help in getting to the next step. If you have friends who can help your project along, get the project to the post-crap stage before you do. Then, when they start turning their attention to you, you'll have the capability to act on advice, deal with new customers, handle the press, etc. Until your business is past this flushing-out point, you don't want to spend relationship capital on it.

Startup Secrets is based on personal interviews with people building companies and from their blog posts and news stories. Subscribe to Startup Secrets on Twitter or come back to Rafe's Radar every day for a new one. See all the Startup Secrets.