When you’ve got an idea, most times, you want to start hacking out at it immediately. Then after years of experience doing this as a child, you come to the realization that for more complex problems, you need to sit down, plan everything out, and then implement.

There are times when you could spend days, weeks, and months planning. You could always get a little bit more research before deciding upon the potentially best implementation. Well guess what? You just wasted a bunch of time that you could have been public, getting feedback, iterating, and becoming generally more awesome. Who knows, maybe you spent too much time and someone beat you, or you ran out of money and now you’re really stuck.

Whatever the case, you’ll hear this advice a lot. Just go do it. Certainly my favorite, most motivating article has to be this one. Every time I read it I’m so incredibly pumped to get started, I can barely finish what I’m supposed to be doing that day. I just want to start working on my side project and get it off the ground.

That advice is all fine and dandy. It’s very motivating and will honestly help you get things accomplished. But take it with a grain of salt too. Several articles I have read recently (I’ll link to them if I can remember what they were…) emphasized this advice in a manner that was more like “Go do it and ignore everything else.”

Well you certainly could do that, but don’t you think a little planning would be useful? Don’t start without a plan, but don’t prematurely optimize either. I know personally I have taken the naive approach of just jumping ship to try something. Every time I had to rewrite it at least once. This will happen with anything, but I know that I could have saved myself a lot of frustration had I taken a day or two more to look at the problem before attacking.

Know your exact goal before you take the plunge, but don’t wait too long.

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