The Second Thing is the Hardest Thing - Dan
The second thing is the hardest thing. When you do your first thing, there are no expectations. You are undeniably doing it for yourself- for fun, just to see. You don’t know what “perfect” is, because you’ve never done it before, and you’ve never seen anything close. When you have your first idea, you just do it. And then you wait for the results.
So, your first thing is going to have some mistakes. But they will be so greatly outshone by this New Thing that you’ve done, no one will see them. You won’t quite have achieved your vision, but you will have created something new- and that’s all anyone will see.
So when you start your second thing, you’re excited. You’ve already come so close, and people liked that simulacra more than you thought possible- this should be easy! But everything is connected. As soon as you fix up one pillar, another one cracks, and before long, the whole foundation is crumbling.
There are expectations now, as people are watching. People don’t know what they like until they hear it, and even then they don’t know why. But they will still tell you what to do, and with great conviction. Always surprised by your success, they will start to think they were right along, and that your previous run was just another characteristic fluke of good fortune.
So here’s what you have to do: Try less. Your first thought is your best thought. If it’s easy, then it’s natural, so it’s good. Do what your body wants to do. Wait til you’ve forgotten most of your ideas, and see which ones you remember. Those are the good ones.
Instead of imagining the perfect and reverse engineering from there, work with what you have, and build on that. The only perfection is you doing exactly what you want to do, no more or less. You’re gonna grow no matter what.