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<title>Early drafts of great work are encouraging </title>
<p>
<strong>I get so encouraged looking at early drafts of great work, thinking, “I can do that!”</strong>
</p><p>
In <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-ESf1hqisQ">this clip from “Le mystère Picasso”</a>, you watch Picasso start with a simple scribble of a goat, then flesh it out. Not only adding textures, but changing his mind and removing things as well.
</p><p>
After making the brilliant movie <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401792/">Sin City</a>, director Robert Rodriguez was cool enough to include <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwY3pB_KYtE">the entire film as it was really shot on a green screen</a>, sped up and included on the DVD.
</p><p>
One of my favorite essayists, <a href="http://paulgraham.com/articles.html">Paul Graham</a>, lets you <a href="http://etherpad.com/ep/pad/slider/13sentences">watch as he types one of his essays</a>. It's incredibly encouraging (and funny!) to see how many times he'll re-write a sentence, and discover what he's saying as he goes.
</p><p>
The Beatles' “<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000002TZ2?tag=cdbaby">Anthology</a>” had some great outtakes and early versions of songs I thought of as untouchably perfect. Like seeing <a href="http://www.anvari.org/cols/Stars_without_Make_Up.html">stars without makeup</a>, you realize how much of the magic is in the finishing touches.
</p>
<p><a href="http://www.archive.org/">Archive.org</a>'s wonderful <a href="http://www.archive.org/web/web.php">Wayback Machine</a> lets us see:</p>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/19961017235908/http://www2.yahoo.com/">yahoo.com from 1996</a></li>
<li><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/19981205052232/http://www.cdbaby.com/">cdbaby.com from 1998</a></li>
<li><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/19981111184551/http://google.com/">google.com from 1998</a></li>
<li><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20031004101518/http://myspace.com/">myspace.com from 2003</a></li>
<li><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20050806011211/http://facebook.com/">facebook.com from 2005</a> “Thefacebook” :-)</li>
</ul>
<p>
I meet so many potential entrepreneurs who think they have to spend millions and months in development before launching. (And therefore, they often never launch.)
</p><p>
For the first nine months of CD Baby, every page was hand-coded HTML and the site did nothing but email the order details to me. I had to copy-and-paste all the info from each email into four places: a mailing label, a thank-you email, a vendor-alert email, and a Filemaker database. It was as lo-fi as can be, but it was enough to get started, and it was profitable.
</p><p>
So <strong>I'm writing this in hopes that we get more of these “<a href="http://sivers.org/infinity">Version 0.1</a>” stories out there. Encouraging potential entrepreneurs, songwriters, artists, and inventors to compare themselves to the early drafts, not the final polished perfection.</strong>
</p><p>
If you've got a story from inside a company (“In the old days of __[big company]__ we used to __[something inspiringly primitive]__.”)...
</p><p>
If you can share a recording of an early demo of a song that went on to become a big hit record....
</p><p>
... or anything else like that, please <strong>email me at derek@sivers.org</strong> or leave a reply here, below. I'll share the responses in a future article.
</p>
<img src="http://sivers.org/images/hatching.jpg" width="500" height="333" />
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