Making Incredible Things

May 20, 2024

Working on building my startup jamie and taking some time to reflect on the past few years, there's one realization I had: the product is the single biggest lever determining the degree of success you have. And this applies to any creative endeavor.

Channeling your energy into making the best thing you can and improving every day is what will make everything else you need to succeed easier.

The better the product, the easier it is to get people to pay for it. The better the product, the easier it is to get funding. The better the product, the longer people will stay with you.

If you make a product that is remarkable and so good that people cannot ignore it, it will be noticeable in pretty much every metric you can look at, tangible and intangible. Customers spread the word. Acquiring customers gets easier. Investors want to back you. People want to write about you. Hiring great people gets easier. The world gravitates towards you.

I'm not saying that other things aren't required for success - networking, marketing, improving processes, and branding all matter. But all of those get easier if your product stands out. If it's so good people cannot ignore it.

And this doesn't only apply to startups.

In music, if your music is incredibly good and speaks for itself, it's easier to get label deals, grow your fanbase, get bookings, and evolve.

In writing, if your book is infectious and people just cannot stop reading, everything gets easier. People will recommend your book, and you will grow incredibly fast through word-of-mouth.

What holds true, though, is that taking one shot is not enough. You need to do incredible work again and again until people notice, building up your catalog. But this is what you should get better at - making incredible things. This is the key to everything else.

I'm starting to see this more and more in everything I do. And for the last year or so, this has been my North Star: improving my craft and refining it, having high standards, iterating, and trying again and again. It is a long journey; you need to create a thing a thousand times until you become somewhat good, and thousands more times to become extremely good. But if you put in the reps, it is inevitable.

This is a great place to approach your creative work from - focusing on making better things. Everything else is a distraction.

The question I apply daily is this:

What can I do today to become better at crafting a great product?

And this extends to all sorts of creative creations - they are all products.