Cult of Done

Cult of Done

The ‘Cult of Done‘ movement went through the maker and entrepreneurial worlds after it was written in 2009. These ideas are not new, but like all things mid-2000’s, everyone was tripping all over themselves to make themselves seem like an thought leader with (oft times comically ego-driven) exercises like defining disruption theory.

A few reflective notes:

  1. “Doing something makes you right”
    This is dangerously simplistic to to the point of me saying this is wrong. I know that people say ‘right’ as in ‘it works in the marketplace’, and people that do things definitely change the world compared to armchair critics.
    But the word ‘right’ carries moral connotation that is confused in today’s relativistic world. Action is better than inaction. The other points in the video about procrastination and awaiting perfection (from the book Art & Feardiscussion) are perfectly correct and great observations. But nobody would agree that Hitler ‘doing something’ about the state Germany after WW1 made him right. Just ‘doing something’ by inventing social media has turned out to have far-reaching negative impacts on society, mental health, and many of it’s founders now actively work against what they have made and claimed it was their biggest mistakes.
    This kind of thinking is the ethical equivalent of ‘might makes right‘. Yes, we should be highly motivated to action and being first to the marketplace often defines the winners. It’s clear doing nothing changes nothing. But all you can really saying is that ‘doing something creates a thing than isn’t here today’. But doing something/action, in itself, does not make you morally ‘right’.
  2. When you release something into the world – you’ve lost control of it. Accept this.
    This is true – which is why it’s a very good idea to think out what you’re doing before unleashing it on others. I have had a number of ideas that would likely be successful in the market, but absolutely terrible for society. Others have created social media monsters and it’s created some of the worst parts of the society we live in today (lack of dialog, lack of respect for others’ opinions, justifying violence).
    This is also a warning about coder meetups and contests. Once you show or work on an idea in public, or work on it with others without an NDA or protections, it’s public domain. The race is on to get it done first if you already lost your public disclosure protection. It’s a good idea to patent or copyright anything that could potentially be really amazing.
  3. Fake it until you make it – What this is supposed to do is help encourage you that you’re good enough to figure something out. However, there is a difference between faking knowledge and giving yourself the confidence to learn while doing.
    For a couple hundred years, scientists called this the ‘scientific method‘. It starts, however, when you first admit you do not know something. You make some assertions and then try to prove them out with intellectual honesty, and transparency of learning while running repeatable experiments. That’s different than someone that pretends and asserts they do know how to do something. The recent 30 under 30 scandals, the Fyre Festival, and FTX’s implosion are all great examples of when people faked it and did NOT make it (well, they made it into federal prison). Start by admitting you don’t know what you’re doing and then use healthy skepticism until you prove the idea out. You start from a position of confident humility. That’s worked in science for hundreds of years.

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