I loved Pamela Slim’s excellent advice on her Escape From Cubicle Nation blog yesterday. It’s got a great title: You are officially granted permission to create a non-perfect first website. And she drives home a great point. It reminds me of the common advice about not waiting until all the lights are green before you leave the garage.

Pam points out that as you start out, you try to have a good sense of strategy with market niche, value proposition and strategic focus. But you’re guessing in the beginning. You shouldn’t expect it to be perfect. But you do have to get going.

Here’s what she calls the metaphor:

Your first website can be like a bland, basic, boring house. It is functional. It meets your needs. It is agreeable to many, but exciting to few.

But as you grow and develop your business, and clarify your brand, you can add rooms to your house, and paint the walls, and plant beautiful flowers out front and fill it with music.

The foundation and basic structure will be the same. But it will look and feel quite different.

And here’s what she calls the permission:

It is OK to put up a website that is not perfect. You will not lose branding karma points or be laughed out of your web neighborhood.

Most importantly, you will stop obsessing about clarifying your perfect brand before you have had the experience necessary to define it properly.

The important thing is that you get a web presence established so that you can move on to more important things like getting clients.

I think that advice is exactly on target, even if your first website isn’t. This is the real world. As Adam Osborne said, “adequate is good enough.”

The caveat, by the way? Pam adds it at the end, and you should read it. Read also her advice on WordPress, and trust that if you work it, your brand will emerge.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.