“Perfection is the enemy of progress” - Churchill
Also known as the Law of Diminishing Returns in the economics world, there will come a point in just about every process (ahem.. adventure) you commit to in which any additional input or time spent planning, thinking, analyzing, training, perfecting... will provide little to no additional benefits. And may in fact prevent you from even starting your adventure in the first place!
if you've never seen this I Love Lucy episode before - check this clip out, it's a great example of diminishing returns :)
We found ourselves running into this early on at Good Somerville while building out our initial business plan. We’d spend days going down endless rabbit holes of what ‘sustainability’ means for an apparel brand. Trying to craft that perfect business model, product and metrics that would help show the whole world that we’ve done it – ‘we’ve created the perfect sustainable apparel brand’.
After a while though it became clear that as an incredibly small team with very little capital, perfect sustainability wasn’t going to look the same for us as it might to a multi-billion-dollar activewear brand like Patagonia or Nike. So instead, we did our research and found that the best way for us to define sustainability wasn’t going to be spending millions of dollars on R&D to develop a new innovative fabric, it was going to be how we maintained responsibility for the garments that we created and sold.
This has allowed us to craft a relatively unique circular business model that focuses on making solid products that we stand behind and will buy back after our customers are finished with them. While not perfectly sustainable (we still incorporate synthetic materials and use transportation networks that rely on fossil fuels); we still believe that what we are doing is a step in the right direction of progress since our business will help prevent excess textile waste and encourages increased clothing utilization. So, what is it that you’ve been toiling away on, trying to make perfect before launching or trying or doing?
Have you hit your point of diminishing returns?