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Forgiveness vs. permission

The beautiful thing about capitalism is that you don’t have to ask for permission. The organizations and individuals that internalize this and move accordingly seem to come out on top.


Sometimes, it might feel like the right thing to do to ask for permission, or that you might come across as being cocky or pushy if you don’t. But I have found the opposite to be true. When it comes to building something that matters or moving fast, there just might be something to the sentiment: “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.”

Of course, it’s unwise to apply this quote to every aspect of your life. But give me someone who moves fast and might break a few things along the way over someone who is timid and unsure of their choices any day! More often than not, people and things fail because of indecision, not incorrect action. In other words, take action, even if it’s imperfect. Ship things. You can fix most things during production.

You can work many of the logistics out later. Most things you think are risky, aren’t. And, too many people are going to tell you ‘no’ if you ask. So proceed in the direction you think is best. You might be right, you could be wrong. But at least you’ll leave no doubt.