Linking Out Loud #1: Speed matters

Hello and welcome to the first issue of Linking Out Loud!

Today’s link is to James Somers’ 2015 blog post, Speed matters: why working quickly is more important than it seems. Despite having recently circulated this post on Twitter, I want it to be the first link I share in this newsletter because I feel that it sets the right tone for what I’m trying to do here.

As Somers says, the obvious reason to work quickly is to get more done per unit time. But there are additional, more subtle reasons:

  • Increased rate of learning. The faster you work, the faster you improve at doing that work, which leads to an ability to work faster still.

  • Increased availability. The faster you work, the more frequently you are available to take on new tasks.

  • Decreased perceived cost of working. The faster you work, the less costly new tasks will seem.

Therefore:

The prescription must be that if there’s something you want to do a lot of and get good at—like write, or fix bugs—you should try to do it faster.

Hence, a weekly newsletter: a framework for fast writing.

Speed isn’t everything, of course. Grant Sanderson, who creates what are probably the best mathematical explanations of all time, once said:

Leaning too hard on the sentiment that "perfection is the enemy of the good" is the enemy of the great.

It’s tempting to hear that point and think, “Yeah, I’m not procrastinating; I’m just taking the time to create something great.” Well, maybe you really are creating something great, but not me, not now. I’m just focusing on creating something. For now: speed matters.

Yours speedily,

David