The old adage “measure twice, cut once” suggests you spend some extra time planning your work before taking action. Saving you from having to do the work again, wasting time and material.

This is excellent advice for carpentry and working with physical objects. But, when it comes to building startups, I’ve come to realize it’s usually faster to “measure once, cut twice”.

You often don’t know yet what it is exactly you’re making. You’re figuring it out as you go along. The first cut lets you try out an idea. The second cut makes it right.

So next time you’re starting a new project, don’t spend too much time planning. Just start hacking away and see what you come up with. It’s usually faster and more effective than trying to plan everything out in advance.

Measure once, cut twice.