Bias Towards Doing

Imagine there is a linear spectrum. On one far end of the spectrum, place Facebook’s company culture. In the early days, their cultural guidelines were to “move fast and break things.” What this meant, in applied terms, is that engineers, designers, etc. should prioritize testing assumptions in the real world over perfecting all of the little details.

Contrast this with the other end of that spectrum…on the other end is Dropbox. Dropbox’s cultural motto is “sweat the small stuff.” What that means, applied, is that employees should care a lot about the details and not release a single product until every detail is perfectly done. 

Both ends of the spectrum have tradeoffs. Imagine we are throwing darts. Facebook will be throwing 1000s of relatively inaccurate darts whereas Dropbox will throw 1 or 2 highly calculated times. 

Being aware of this line is interesting, as I think it applies to individuals as well as companies. We all exist at some point between the two ends. 

I think I have always had a strong leaning towards the Facebook end. I throw lots of darts. I test lots of assumptions. The clear tradeoff with this is that I fail a lot. I mess up a lot. And I have to work hard to make up for it. 

There is no clear better end of the spectrum, as you can succeed by doing both really well. 

Simply being aware, though, is valuable as you identify how you learn best and aim to grow. 

Also published on Medium.