“From suck to not-suck.”
Candor could not be more crucial to our creative process. Why? Because early on, all of our movies suck. That’s a blunt assessment, I know, but I choose that phrasing because saying it in a softer way fails to convey how bad the ﬁrst versions really are. I’m not trying to be modest or self-effacing. Pixar ﬁlms are not good at ﬁrst, and our job is to make them so—to go, as I say, “from suck to not-suck.”
Love this! Too often in software we see initial versions and say things like “well, that could use some tweaks” when what we want to say is “that sucks, let’s do it again… but I like this one concept, let’s build on that”. Politeness is a good thing of course, but knowing that rarely in this world do you nail it on the first try is important.
Of course all the guides say “iterate” and “fail fast” but they rarely call out that the second step in iteration (after the first step of “build it”) is “know it failed”. *Now* you can lather, rinse, repeat. But know that the first version will suck and your goal is to not-suck, just like Pixar… well okay, some of the final Pixar products still sucked but they tried, right?