At Oracle* Bare Metal Cloud, we've developed a set of core values that we think best describes our team and how we work. One of those values is "Nail the basics."
The best principles—whether design, leadership, or something else—stand up to a simple test. If you flip them around, are they obvious? If yes, then it's not a good principle, because they don't actually help you drive to a decision. "Be the best" is a poor principle, because nobody would ever strive to "be the worst".
"Nail the basics" passes this test. None of the following are obviously wrong: "maximize feature coverage", "nail the advanced use case", "cover the basics".
"Nail the basics" means two things:
- Identify the basics. What are the core things that make or break the goal?
- Get those things obviously right. Nail 'em.
When planning, it's very easy to pull in new requirements—new goals, new qualities, new aspirations. In the software industry, this is known as feature creep.
When planning your life and setting your goals, avoid feature creep. Nail the basics. Identity the core things you want to accomplish, the core goals that you want to meet, the core habits that you need to instill in your life, and get those done first. Then go back, and re-evaluate.
Nail the basics.
* The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.