This past weekend I climbed South Sister in central Oregon with good friends. It was a fun day and a great hike.
I love hiking. There are many lessons to glean from it. Most of them have to do with suffering, persistence and grit. But this weekend, I was especially hit by the idea of the return trip.
Getting to the summit is only half the battle. And, frankly, it’s the easy part. You see the goal in front of you. You keep going till you get there and you stop for lunch. But you are only half way there. What if you stop? What if the summit was the ONLY goal.
You have to get back down. And getting back down is harder work in my opinion. The goal now is to get to your normal life, the rest of your life. You are leaving the pinnacle if you will. You are going back to normal. You are living.
And this is EXACTLY like product development. Shipping it is only half the battle. Once you launch, you are not done. You’ve accomplished a goal, but only one, and there will be MANY more peaks and valleys if you’re going to survive. I’ve watched many products get to launch and then stop. And then they dwindle and die.
You still need to set goals around getting the project shipped, or developing that new feature. But that is only half the battle. You also need goals around living and telling the story. Otherwise, we’ll have very short lived adventures.