Why build a missile when you can build a rocket ship?
Why your website will never be finished.
Remember the time when people built websites once? Design, build, launch, stand back with fingers in ears. Then, wait for a huge bang and rapturous applause or scan the horizon for the faintest puff of smoke. If it was good, you’d do it again. If it was bad, you’d do it again.
It seems crazy looking back now. A medium so favourable to real time change and ongoing iteration treated like a piece of print or 30 second TV spot. Why didn’t we see the potential of narrative and journey? A platform for the future. To last a lifetime.
After all, it’s in our nature to build things that last; cities, civilisations, communities, relationships, political ideologies, art. It’s innate. We need to create meaning for the time we’re here on this rock and a legacy for when we’ve left it. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The Ancient Egyptians, Aztecs and Peruvians left us hieroglyphs, monoliths and geoglyphs. The masters left us skilfully worked canvas, stone and bronze. Timestamps of a another time. Timestamps we now protect and treasure as if our existence depends on it.
Like Pablo Picasso once said, “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary”.
Without these narratives we’d be lost, wasting time – going backwards – and learning the things we should already know. Without it we’d be in the dark ages.
This is why your website, in particular, should never be finished. And no, this doesn’t mean it should be an open-ended, meandering yarn with no point or direction, but a continuous journey of narrative. To progress and evolve. Inform and entertain.
So, on launch day you’ll be sending a rocket ship on a journey of discovery rather than watching a dud of a missile fall short of its target. Build things to last. Make enduring work.
I’ll leave you with these fine words from Leonardo Da Vinci, “Art is never finished, only abandoned”.
Photo: NASA. Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. enters his Mercury capsule, “Friendship 7” as he prepares for launch of the Mercury-Atlas rocket on February 20, 1962.