Leaping before you look

Josh Linkner, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Detroit Executive of the Year, and Crain’s 40 under 40 recipient told me,

Mistakes are no big problem. I’ve always been a leap-before-you-look type of guy.”

Perhaps that explains why in his younger days, he sneaked into smoky bars to play jazz guitar… he also sold illegal firework from his backpack. But that’s a story for another time.

Trigger pullers and testers

If mistakes are no big problem, “Tell me about your mistakes.”

Surprisingly, Josh began telling me about avoiding mistakes and the product failure that resulted. He explained that his team crafted a product into, what he called, the “Mona Lisa.”

In other word they created a “master piece.” They solved all the product’s potential problems first, then launched, but failed.  The four-word lesson he described is an essential element of entrepreneurship.

Launch early. Test often.

I think Josh’s insight defines the difference between dynamic entrepreneurial environments and safe, stagnant, corporations. Entrepreneurs aim and pull the trigger while others keep aiming. Entrepreneurs know perfection is the enemy of progress.

In a word

I don’t think Josh suggests intentional mediocrity. Do your best within reasonable time constraints. But whatever you do, do it. Then he gave me a highly “technical term” that describes his after-launch approach.


I love the term “tinker.” It’s attainable. Average folks tinker.

I think Josh is serious about tinkering. He may work as hard at improving as he does at creating.

Trigger pullers and tinkerers:

  1. Leave perfection for tomorrow, move forward today.
  2. Know mistakes are steps to perfection, opportunities for improvement.
  3. Realize “not yet” is “new and improved” in disguise.

You can’t take yourself too seriously when you’re tinkering. Tinkering is asking, “What if?”

But’s that’s tomorrow…

Yesterday’s post: Josh Linkner brings, “Contrasting Qualities Together


What leadership behaviors, organizational strategies, or marketing plans lend themselves to tinkering?

Dangers and opportunities?


More from Josh:

Finding Your Competitive Advantage

Bringing Contrasting Qualities Together


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