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What I'm thinking about when I'm making pasta


I have taken a renewed liking to pasta in the recent times and have been making it for dinner more often. When making pasta, you have to put it in boiling water for a very specific amount of time. If you take it out early, you will have uncooked pasta on your plate and if you leave it in too long, you will have soft overcooked pasta that doesn't taste good.

It is the same with boiling eggs. I can't take it out early simply because I'm in a hurry and am impatient to wait the time it takes to be done right. It is only done when it is done, not any earlier, no matter what I do.

So, what is needed here is the patience to wait the time it takes.

When writing a blog post, when writing a book, when creating a work of art, it generally doesn't help to rush and to be impatient. Impatience leads to the equivalent of uncooked pasta - something that lacks in taste and is often not good enough to serve the purpose it was originally supposed to. And it definitely isn't going to make the recipient any happier, let alone satisfy their needs and exceed their expectations.

Patience is a simple thing to achieve when it comes to making pasta or boiling eggs, because we can tell exactly how many minutes we need to wait for it to be done right. But with a book, with a new product, with a new company, with a new relationship, we have no way of estimating how many days or weeks or months or years we ought to wait patiently.

So, we tend to fall into the trap of hiding behind the semblance of patience. When we don't know how long we need to get something right, we can convince ourselves that we are making progress and that things take time, while all we may be doing is hiding behind this facade and not really making any progress.

This is the side that entrepreneurs err on. They prefer to rush things and ship early, even if what they ship isn't fully baked. They have more to lose by falling into the trap of thinking they are perfecting their product than by shipping early and then iterating on it to make it better.

While bigger companies that have a brand to protect err on the other side. Because they have more to lose by shipping early and having a sub-standard product out in the market than by spending extra time and money needed to move that much closer to perfection.

While popular gospel is to move fast and break things, it isn't always the best approach.

The best approach is the one that has the best risk / reward ratio.

If it is more important to make it to a meeting on time and still ensure you don't go hungry, it is alright to undercook the pasta rather than wait the time to get it right. But if you don't have the stomach for bad pasta, then it is better to get it right and then eat it.

Understand why you are deciding (or not) to move fast.

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