Put It On Paper First

Before spending lots of money or time realizing your “vision,” put it on paper first. Unless you can afford to waste resources or fail miserably, it’s far better to outline and iterate your project in writing. Pens and paper are cheap. Payroll, equipment, and building blocks are not. That’s why people started using blueprints, screenplays, sketches, budgets, business plans, outlines, storyboards, and recipes. By mapping your vision, you liberate ideas from your skull onto a medium others can review. On paper, you can objectify your idea better and collect feedback from peers who can help you.

Yes, this may be a fundamental concept. “Duh, Craig, of course you should plan things on paper.” But it kills me how many people jump into the deep end without thinking first. And it amazes me how much time I’ve wasted getting dirty without a plan. Hours and hours of design, coding, and crafting to get me nowhere when I could have realized project faults on the page early on. Trust me, put it on paper first. It’s not a real idea until someone can read or see it – including you. Thank you, Mark Godwin, for reminding me of that.

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