A couple years ago, I made a friend who constantly said “ship it!” It was his favorite phrase, and he repeated it enough times in his already enthusiastic and mantra-laden nature to pique my curiosity. To him, it marked progress — shipping a product was a culmination of iterations made to create something purposeful, something that represented collaboration, and innumerate hours spent poring over specs and adjusting as necessary.
While I always appreciated the sentiment behind this, often thinking about it in semi-awe, I never really experienced it until recently. Just as there is a high associated with so many things like runners’ high, there’s also a product high — that moment of elation in the wee hours of night as you put on the final touches before your product gets thrown in the spotlight.
Perhaps this moment was a bit more profound for me because I’ve always been in a service-oriented profession where the template of work is traditionally in place. Even with journalism, any article you write is but a contribution to a larger content network — it’s not an act of empowerment in and of itself.
While it’s a product I see as a work in progress, as a draft looking for disruption rather than evolution, it spoke to something I knew that I want to become a part of my work — I want to build products. I want to help create products and give life to ideas that live on beyond simply services. I’m not sure what shape or form these products will manifest themselves in — and they may very well be in services — but “ship it!” will be a mantra that I certainly will begin to to adopt as one of my own.