The First Version Always Sucks

Do you remember your first time doing something? I don't. I cannot even remember what the process was like.

I made my first piece of music when I was in my early teenager years around the age of 12. I also got into computers early, and I learned how to use DOS. Later I went to uni to learn audio engineering. I wrote a thesis at the end. I studied for a bachelor's degree, and I wrote a bachelor thesis at the end. I studied for a master's degree, and, you guessed it, I wrote a master's thesis at the end. I managed "projects" ever since I am 28-ish. I recorded my first podcast 12 years ago, and my first YouTube video is about the same age.

In hindsight, I managed to quite a lot of things. But truth of the matter is that I don't exactly remember how and where it all started. All I know is that is sucked. It must have because from my grownup experience I can tell you that it sucks to do new things.

I cannot remember playing my first songs. I cannot remember making them either. All I know is that I didn't know how to make it play at all, or even how to draw notes. The thing didn't even start up because I was out of memory, and I had to edit AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS… Anyway. I ramble. It sucked.

It sucked because I didn't know how to make the playhead move. It sucked because I didn't even know what a playhead was and what to do with it. But I suffered through it. Eventually I had something I called music but it was from being musical. My first song was pretty bad. I thought it was the greatest thing ever but the entire experience wasn't pleasant at all. I didn't enjoy what I was doing. All I knew is that if I kept doing it, I would have music at the end.

Later basic things like moving a playhead or drawing a note became easier. Unfortunately other things became consequently much much harder. But I guess that's just how it goes. Right?

My first AppleScript looks like a disgusting mess of code. Back then it was the biggest thing I ever invented.

My first client project in the audio business sucked too. But not in the way that it was challenging, it was just full of suck. A couple of years later, I was able to improve what I was doing and came up with a "process". Let's call it the "not-so-sucky process". The not-so-sucky process was supposed to make the whole thing suck a little bit less. And it did! But other things started to suck a little bit more. Curses.

I wasn't just bad with music, and programming at the beginning. I was pretty bad in other areas too. Marketing, sales, project management, finances, you name it. I took a nose dive in everyone of these.

What I want to get at: doing a thing for the first time, it's almost certain that I fail.

Everything I built ever, be it a piece of art, a paper, a project, was pretty bad and very rough around the edges the first time around -- at least most of the time. I don't want to write, don't be afraid of failing, because that would be to cliché for me to write. What I want to say is that the fear of creating something less-than-ideal sometimes caused me to miss a beat. I love rhythm though. I always start with the rhythm section to compose a new song. You shouldn't miss a beat either.

Here's the kicker. If I ever hesitate, I'd like to tell myself that I can only fail. No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, the outcome is going to be a piece of shit. So there are two options, I can just avoid the entire thing completely, or I can give it a shot. It can only go wrong, so what's to lose?

I'm rather old now. Things still suck sometimes but I try to not make them suck as bad anymore. Especially considering I sometimes work with people now, and I try not to make them have a bad experience. But… I still mess things up. Learning new stuff is hard. And every time I learn a new thing, that new thing is most likely not the best thing ever. But it's a start. And that's what counts. At the start of any journey is a beginning. My journey started by figuring out how to make the playhead move, and making bad music. It was fun. That's why it didn't suck after all.