Done means Done
March 3, 2009 3:42 PM   Subscribe

Bre Pettis makes things. He likes to get things done. He likes when you get things done. Do you like to get things done? Then check out the Cult of Done Manifesto.
posted by jazon (47 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I like getting things done but I also value quality over quantity. A lot of this list seems to favor the later. Getting things done for the sake of getting things done in order to do more things seems unnecessarily frantic.
posted by jamaro at 3:50 PM on March 3, 2009

2nding jamaro. Getting things done to get farther down your list is pathological. I should know, I do it all the time.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 3:55 PM on March 3, 2009

#3. Sorry writers, mr video podcast producer says you're doing it wrong, and he's got a list.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:56 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm only posting this comment to get it done.

How do you like it?
posted by Joe Beese at 4:05 PM on March 3, 2009

life as a tumour isn't very fun
posted by doobiedoo at 4:05 PM on March 3, 2009

This post makes me irritable and fatigued. I think I'm going to stare at the wall awhile and accomplish nothing in protest.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:09 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

How can you not want to edit? Editing is the shizznit!
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 4:10 PM on March 3, 2009

I like getting things done but I also value quality over quantity. A lot of this list seems to favor the later.

"Quantity has a quality all its own" -- J Stalin.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 4:12 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Mr. Pettis, your 15 minutes are done.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:16 PM on March 3, 2009

Some of us need this. Very, very badly.

*copies manifesto to his To Do list*
posted by lekvar at 4:16 PM on March 3, 2009

Well, this is the manifesto of one of you young'uns. I'm older, and "done" is not a concept I have any use for. Life is editing, and loving it, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by kozad at 4:17 PM on March 3, 2009

I always thought this manifesto was less shrill, more appropriate.
posted by gac at 4:20 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is this something I'd need to be a cable guy to understand?
posted by Smedleyman at 4:21 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

7. Once you're done you can throw it away.

Thanks, I will.
posted by gman at 4:22 PM on March 3, 2009

Bre is one of the coolest & genuinely awesomest guys on the planet. I've never ever seen his work on Make. How is this opinion possible? Right here.
posted by Aquaman at 4:24 PM on March 3, 2009

4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.

13. Done is the engine of more.

Or the engine of fixing what the previous poser fucked up.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:31 PM on March 3, 2009

Hacker collective, indeed.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:33 PM on March 3, 2009

I prefer doing to getting done. Also these productivity fetishists irritate me. Seems if they spent half as much time doing as they did organizing their time they might produce something interesting
posted by delmoi at 4:41 PM on March 3, 2009

My problem is that I don't like doing things. But I like being done, sure.
posted by GuyZero at 4:44 PM on March 3, 2009

Failure counts as done.

Good luck putting that on your performance review at work.
posted by GuyZero at 4:45 PM on March 3, 2009

Huh, this isn't even really a manifesto of getting things done it's a manifesto of producing ephemeral crap.

5) Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.

Yeah, tell that to Michelangelo. Also two people, 20 minutes producing 13 bullet points in 171 words?
posted by delmoi at 4:46 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

This seems like a relatively common pathos to me, too. I don't really know who this guy is, but he sounds like some dudes I know who seem to feel that somehow doing as many things as possible makes them a better person. Or, knowing these guys that it will get them laid (does it?). Wiring up a chicken run and digging a fire pit and removing a wall in your house may be cool, productive things to do, but is it something to hang your self-worth on?

I realize this is probably tangential.

This probably glares at me because I'm guilty of it to some extent.
posted by cmoj at 4:50 PM on March 3, 2009

Here's the counterpoint to this list: Quitting the Paint Factory. Ironically, a long article about not getting stuff done.

Doesn't mean I don't like this FPP... I frequently need to get stuff done, despite my unhelpful penchants for laziness and perfectionism. I find things like his manifesto somewhat motivating.
posted by knave at 4:57 PM on March 3, 2009 [4 favorites]

It just so happens that my to-do list tomorrow includes many nefarious, evil deeds. I was going to be sort of laid back about it, but in light of this manifesto, I will take extra pains to accomplish them all.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:58 PM on March 3, 2009

Doing something makes you right.

Holy crap no
posted by regicide is good for you at 5:12 PM on March 3, 2009

#12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.

Is that a good thing? Like the always-around-when-you-need-them Blue Jedi ghosts? Or the sort of thing that haunts you, because people refer to it and remind you you haven't actually done, you've just said you would do? What if the idea is simply to share your ideas on the internet, like this list of theirs?

MetaFilter: the ghost of done.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:14 PM on March 3, 2009

All the criticisms aside, however, he did have an Armatron sitting up there behind the security camera in the video in the first link, which means he can't be all bad. Oh, how we would move blocks a few joyous inches! /wistful
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:18 PM on March 3, 2009

I spend half my waking life cleaning up after people like this.
posted by Graygorey at 5:25 PM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

I spend half my waking life cleaning up after people like this.

Ditto. There is a big difference between done and done well. If you're cleaning your bathroom, I don't care if you do it or do it well, as long as you do it. But if I'nm paying you to clean my bathroom, design my logo, build my car or inspect my house, it better be done well.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:02 PM on March 3, 2009

I like Bre, and I don't disagree with this article at all, but...

Why is it that when someone writes a short 13-item blog post listing a bunch of "tips" with no elaboration on each point, we all think it's just a blog post and nobody thinks it's worth linking to, but when that same person puts the word "Manifesto" in the title we suddenly stand up and pay attention?
posted by mmoncur at 7:32 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's a little thing called the Science of Listener Attention, bubbuleh.
posted by ook at 7:43 PM on March 3, 2009

I dunno. This doesn't seem like such a bad manifesto to me. #1 makes it clear that each draft is just something that needs to get done, and so further editing is something you get done. The perfect is the enemy of the good and don't get hung up on minor details and all of that.

Still, I've spent my entire day trying to get my reading done for the section on §1985(3) for my Civil RIghts class, and my eyes just keep on glazing over and sending me back to metafilter. This manifesto is doing nothing to help me with that, unfortunately.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:45 PM on March 3, 2009

Packrats aren't going to like this, but I propose that if you haven't used something in a year, throw it out.

I have tons of stuff too 'good' to be thrown out sitting on a shelf at work, untouched for a decade.
posted by digsrus at 8:01 PM on March 3, 2009

My Great Aunt would strangle poor Bre at his confusion over the word "done" and what he probably means, "finished".

And since he never edited his Manifesto, it's probably not finished.
posted by Xoebe at 9:27 PM on March 3, 2009

My daughter said she was done with her food. The plate was full. She got hungry later.

I'm sorry, what was I trying to convey?

Guess it doesn't matter, 'cause I'm done with this post. More later. Promise.
posted by Chuffy at 11:22 PM on March 3, 2009

First, define what you mean by "done". Then you're at least half-way there.

(So much stuff in life seems to exist in a state of carrying-on-until-you-can-justify-stopping. The main thing is to have clear parameters that define at what point you can stop.)
posted by Grangousier at 12:17 AM on March 4, 2009

This looks really interesting. I'll try and read it tomorrow.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:56 AM on March 4, 2009

You know who else had a list and got things done?
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:58 AM on March 4, 2009

Not a single comment in this thread, positive or negative, including this one, got anything done.
posted by DU at 5:47 AM on March 4, 2009

This sounds like upper-management corporate claptrap that dipshit "go-getter" management types pat each other on the back for and those of us in the trenches have to work around to get our jobs done.

These are the same jerks who bitch about "looking busy", no matter how often you explain that a great deal of IT (or any job involving a computer, really) involves staring at a screen waiting for something to happen.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:35 AM on March 4, 2009

There's a million ways
To get things done
posted by fixedgear at 6:55 AM on March 4, 2009

posted by grouse at 6:57 AM on March 4, 2009

There are a lot of errors on his website. Is it done?
posted by stubby phillips at 7:12 AM on March 4, 2009

To fully appreciate the quality of Bre Pettis's work, check out this video he made for Etsy.

Quality gets done at 2:21.
posted by zach braff's mixtape at 8:21 AM on March 4, 2009 [4 favorites]

p.s. re MeTa: Bre and I aren't related. Sorry for not stating that up front.
posted by jazon at 9:03 AM on March 4, 2009

He also apparently likes to participate in viral marketing campaigns for the upcoming Terminator movie.
posted by oneironaut at 10:10 AM on March 4, 2009

He sure does like to get his name out there, that Bre.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:47 PM on March 4, 2009

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