Minimum Effort Start

Just ship it.

I've lost track of the number of times I've seen this phrase on social media by now.

The main agenda behind this quote is to motivate people to not wait till the perfect execution of their ideas and start incrementally pushing out good-enough versions of their work.

I can relate to this quite well.

When I launched Hulry around four years ago, I started with the most barebones setup I could find:

A blog hosted on using the default theme on a custom domain.

It took me thirty minutes to get everything set up and start writing my first blog post.

The blog had no fancy elements like a newsletter form, grouped blog posts or tailor-made illustrations, but people still loved it because the core thing was present — good content.

Once I sorted the basics, I continued adding and refining things like setting up a newsletter, building a custom theme and adding hand-drawn digital illustrations to blog posts.

Now that I think of it, even the newsletter didn't look anything like it does now.

The first Hulry newsletter format was a simple list of cool things I've discovered recently:

The early format of the newsletter was less structured and more freestyle.

Then, after 10–15 issues, I updated the design to a more magazine-style layout, which was the base for the issues you see now.

I started lean, made continuous upgrades to the blog and the newsletter and shipped incrementally.

A process that I like to call the minimum effort start.

When starting a new project, there would be a bazillion things you'd want to do to mould your ideas into a perfect execution.

That, however, is a trap that most of us get caught in.

If you focus on a massive list of things to do from the get-go, you'll probably give up before you do anything. The whole project will seem too daunting and near impossible.

Instead, consider your projects as continuously evolving work and focus on what you could do to get a working version released that doesn't require too much of effort.

Let's take an example of starting a newsletter to share your career learnings with people on the internet.

Instead of fretting too much about the format or which platform to choose, start with the most straightforward platform that'll get you up and running, like Substack and publish your first post.

You can always migrate your newsletter to a better and more bespoke platform when it gains traction.

You don't have to do everything or make every right decision from day one.

Start with a barebones setup and then make adjustments and improvements as and when you see fit. Get the ball rolling.

This path of incremental improvements rather than a one-shot project completion is easier to handle, more motivating and more likely to reach the goal.

Remember — just ship it.

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