Marketing 101: Done is better than perfect (as long as it’s actually done)

About 6 months, ago, Pancake undertook an internal redesign project.

We wanted to update our site, this site, to reflect our growth in the last 4 years. We’d moved from a one-man shop to a full-fledged agency, with processes and employees and all the pain, learning and personal development that goes along with that type of transition.

We tasked Jonathan to take the Pancake Foundation, the proprietary WordPress framework upon which we build all our sites, and completely rewrite the Pancake website’s codebase.

After a couple of weeks of work, Jonathan presented us with the fruits of his labor, a demo site from which to work, and we launched into the design revision process that we use for all external-facing sites. It was a

After 4 rounds of revisions the design was ready, and I personally spent a day hours migrating the site over, setting up redirects, and making sure everything was polished and beautiful.

And beautiful it was, I thought, oh so lovely and clean.

Things got really busy just after that, and there were a few (small, in my estimation) details that needed to be addressed. We hadn’t yet written intro content for our projects section, the projects headers had been affected by a shift in the direction for the header, and we’d been so busy taking care of client needs that we hadn’t dedicated the resources to clean up these small issues.

Unfortunately, they weren’t as small as I’d believed, and a couple of months later I received an anonymous contact from our update contact form.

The user, whoever they are, had attempted to browse through our portfolio and spotted our “lorem ipsum” demo content beneath our carefully crafted portfolio images. This was a deal-breaker for them, and they decided not to contact us because of it.

This, to me, was a heartbreaking revelation. In a small way, our attention to our clients (and subsequent neglect of our own website) had been our undoing. We’d been so focused on external work, that we’d not taken the 2 hours we needed to update all the projects and give them content.

Lesson learned, we updated the projects that same day. They’re all shiny and beautiful now.

Done is better than perfect, they say, and I agree. But when you’re applying that rule, learn from my mistake, and make sure your project is actually done.