F**k it. Ship it. Meetup.


In a previous Jessica Says post I talked about how often fear can get in the way of moving forward with a project, or in some cases moving forward in life. Artists, writers, choreographers, composers, we often tend to linger in the place of creation far too long because either perfectionism gets in the way or it feels safer to say, “it’s coming, you just wait!”

And then suddenly months, years go by and still, nothing but talk.

Story continues below.

I’ve been crafting a personal blog and an arts-focused communications consulting website with the intent, every week, of launching it. But then something always gets in the way. The banner with the photo doesn’t look right. Should I call the business a different name? The mailing list isn’t set up. Or, one day I log in to find the WordPress site was hacked and suddenly that portfolio page with all the photos and links I’ve spent hours creating, tweaking and beautifying looks like a giant cluster f**k on the page.

Another week goes by – no website.

I was recently hanging out at a Meetup (for which I will speak more in-depth about in a minute) hosted by an organization in New York City called Be Social Change, “a team of passionate community-builders on a mission to educate and connect the next generation of social impact leaders” that regularly organizes social gatherings. I was telling the organization’s community manager the story of how I’ve spent months working on this site.

She said you need to “f**k it, ship it.” Excuse me? “Yeah, you haven’t heard about that?” she asked with a slightly puzzled look on her face. No, I haven’t, but please tell me more!

The saying originally came from programmers and developers who work for a hosted web operations company called Opbeat.com. According to a website called Lifehacker, “Before you complete any project that you really care about and show it to the world, you’ll likely be plagued by self-doubt. Will others understand it? Is it missing anything? Can you make it better somehow? At some point, you have to just say “F**k it, ship it.”

This conversation made me realize even though I had been sitting on this website project for months feeling frustrated, just a few days earlier without any thought I launched something totally unplanned – a Meetup group called ArtsEdTechNYC.

I’ve been frequenting various Meetups in Manhattan lately including just this past week #ArtsTech’s “Unconference” where artists, techies and social media enthusiasts gathered at AOL headquarters. I’ve listened to a VH1 community manager talk about social media analytics and how to build an online community at a #CMmeetup. I got product pitch advice from an expert panel of professionals at Meet the Media, I enjoyed a Sunday networking brunch with really cool ladies at NYTechWomen and thanks to Be Social Change, I was invited to attend an interview with Newark, New Jersey’s Mayor Cory Booker at Reuters TV.

Meetup badge of honor
Meetup badge of honor

You have two options when you visit the homepage. You can either “Find a Meetup Group” or you can “Start a Meetup group.” According to the website’s mission statement “Meetups are neighbors getting together to learn something, do something, share something…” I did a few random searches like “crochet” and “Segway” which produced no Meetups (surprisingly) in New York City, but if I wanted to play Monopoly – jackpot! There are four board game affiliated groups in the city and hundreds of groups that focus on arts and culture.

When I started setting up my Meetup online, I thought I would save it and launch later – fear. But Meetup doesn’t allow you to do that so I went all the way – f**k it, ship it! And you can’t really start a group without a Facebook fan page and a Twitter handle. So I got creative and took a picture of an empty Illy coffee can I had sitting on my desk for the profile picture. (Illy, by the way has a beautiful coffee can art collection) and voila! My #ArtsEdTech community group is born and already has a following.

Are you curious to see where this goes? As the current byline reads, “We’re in startup mode – Stay tuned…”