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Speed matters

Why working quickly is more important than it seems ?

The obvious benefit to working quickly is that you’ll finish more stuff per unit time. But there’s more to it than that.
If you work quickly, the cost of doing something new will seem lower in your mind. So you’ll be inclined to do more.

The general rule seems to be: Systems which eat items quickly are fed more items. Slow systems starve.

What’s true of individual people turns out also to be true of whole organizations.
  • If customers find out that you take two months to frame photos, they’ll go to another frame shop. 
  • If contributors discover that you’re slow to merge pull requests, they’ll stop contributing. 
Unresponsive systems are sad. They’re like buildings grown over with moss. They’re a kind of memento mori. People would rather be reminded of life. They’ll leave for places that get back to them quickly.

Part of the activation energy required to start any task comes from the picture you get in your head when you imagine doing it. 
It may not be that going for a run is actually costly; but if it feels costly, if the picture in your head looks like a slog, then you will need a bigger expenditure of will to lace up.

Slowness seems to make a special contribution to this picture in our heads. Time is especially valuable. So as we learn that a task is slow, an especial cost accrues to it. Whenever we think of doing the task again, we see how expensive it is, and bail.

That’s why speed matters.

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

Source: http://jsomers.net/blog/speed-matters

Feel free to share your thoughts in comments below.

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