I’ve written a number of posts recently about not being afraid to just put your work out there (“Make More Pots“, “You’ll never be ready, so do it now“, “Learning in public“, and others), but there is a reason why people can be afraid to publish their work — something bad might happen.
The point with those posts is to emphasize that the “bad” isn’t really that bad. Someone might disagree with you, but that’s really about the worst that could happen. With that in mind, you should just go for it.
The $5,000 car
What brought this up was a Judge Judy clip going around again. The video is below, but the short version is that:
- A man sold a woman a car for $5,000.
- She claims it was a different amount and took him to court.
- He had indisputable proof that they agreed on $5,000.
Here’s the video:
The question is, why would she go on the show? What could she hope to gain, knowing that she signed a contract and he recorded it.
The question isn’t what she hoped she could gain, but “what’s the worst that could happen?” As shady as she seemingly is, she was smart here.
Going on the show, she probably thought she had a small chance of winning. Judge Judy seemed to be on her side, and if the man hadn’t produced the video she may have won. The flip side is important: even if she lost, the show would pay the award to him! (that’s just how the show works).
She’s out clean either way.
There are times when “what’s the worst that could happen?” has devastating consequences, like choosing to drive drunk. In most cases, though, particularly with the kind of things we talk about on here, the worst-case scenario really isn’t too bad and it’s worth the risk to ship your work.