Shipping (A Seth Godin-ism)

Certain words invade your vocabulary — sometimes whether you like it or not.

The one that has really invaded mine this year is “ship”. I don’t think that I can go a week without it coming up at least a handful of times in a variety of contexts. I first heard it on Seth Godin’s blog, I believe, and it was a pretty major theme of his recent book Linchpin.

The concept is simple and is derived, I think, from the following Steve Jobs quote: “Real artists ship.” Ever since I heard Godin use the term in a video on creativity and productivity, I loved it.

It stuck with me. Finally, I had a word to describe the type of work ethic I wanted to see embodied in my team and in myself. I didn’t want to create art for art’s sake; I wanted to do work that mattered, that made a difference in people’s lives. I didn’t want to let a project sit on the shelf, constantly tweaking and re-tweaking, vainly attempting to reach perfection.

I wanted to put something out there — warts and all — so that it could make a difference in someone’s life.

Certainly, there is a need for perfectionists in the world (especially when it comes to the field of air traffic control), but where I spend most of my time, we, quite frankly, need more people who ship.

So, that’s my word, and I’m sticking to it: shipping.

Thanks, Seth.

What word or phrase has recently invaded your vocabulary?


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