Third Time is the Charm

Nov 28, 2022

I've been doing a lot of woodworking lately. I enjoy making physical things for a change and getting away from the computer. One noticable difference between working on a computer versus on physical objects is how much harder it is to fix mistakes or iterate on a design. I've been finding that the first time I make something it is full of mistakes and design things that could be done better. The second time I make something I can usually fix most of those but it's still not perfect. The third time making something is when it finally comes out great.

I recently read Build by Tony Fadell after seeing him on the Lex Fridman Podcast. In it there is a chapter titled "Three Generations" where he talks about how it usually takes three generations to get a product right. He is responsible for building the iPod, iPhone and Nest Thermostat and uses those as examples.