I Want a New Cult

Bre Pettis and Kio Stark, two frighteningly smart people, have founded the Cult of Done. I have decided to base the rest of my life on it.

Read the Cult of Done poster (created by Joshua Rothaas) below to understand the 13 tenets of the Cult of Done…and tremble.




  1. I cannot accept precept #6, because there are times where ideas take longer to gestate. But I highly admire the rest of it.

    There are things I’m not particularly skilled at. One of those things is throwing-wheel pottery. I can handbuild for days–coil-built pots, slab-built, carved–I can go for days in slow stages, smoothing and etching with tools, slowly air-drying, glazing, firing–I’m good at that.

    Throwing pottery on a wheel–the main lesson? Keep going. Work fast, work quick, you can’t work clean, accept that mistakes will happen and keep your hands moving. Delicate dabs of fingertips into a cup for slip won’t cut it–some potters keep a bucket of premade slip and plunge their whole hands in to drizzle muddy water in streams over their work. Spin it, finish it, move it, and get to the next thing.

    Done. Next.

    Done. Next.

    Done. Next.

    For me, it was shocking beyond all things. But that had mistakes–but that one collapsed–but that one, if I can just work on the sides, I could–

    No. Done. Next.

    It’s not a comfortable place for me, the Cult of Done, but potters know about it. And the good ones live there, every time their hands touch earth. It’s a good lesson to keep in mind.

  2. I’m the worst of the worst of procrastinators and letting the perfect get in the way of the good.

    But after the bar exam … I’m ready to be recruited into the cult of Done.

  3. I keep meaning to banish procrastination, but I never get around to it…

  4. “pretending you know what you’re doing is the almost same as knowing?” No.

    Know what you DON”T know, then find someone who does. An incompetent effort ended is *NOT* a JOB DONE.

    Given that, DONE is beautiful. Then grow or redeem with the next endeavor.

  5. I would tend to agree, based on the experience of a dear friend of mine.

    He knew nothing about cell phones, cell phone routing towers, or what tower switches did. When he applied at a promising new cell phone service, and they asked him if he knew these things, he said yes.

    They hired him. He then went home after signing paperwork and between the net and the local library, read everything he could over that weekend on cell phones, power distribution problems, switch power and potential hazards, and commonly understood practices of people who had this kind of job.

    He went in the next Monday; he’s been with the company for more than six years now.

    Now, is this a recommendation for *everyone* to do this? No. But it worked–and worked brilliantly–for him. As he’s told me since, “I wasn’t lying *precisely*–I didn’t know it *then*, but I knew I *could* know it. And I *would* know it. So I said yes.”

  6. I have to smile at that… I lied to get my first job as a production scut, figuring if i could not do it, i would get fired darn fast. within the year, i was managing production for edit and advert on 7 weekly papers. if you want it you learn it. and if you have will & talent you keep it.

    Someone said “Talent is just a Cheap Trick”. it is. it’s what you do with it that counts.

    what i find increasingly alarming are the resumes received proclaiming “proficiency” in (insert program here) as they took a course and passed a test. they are certified as DONE.

    i wonder often, when did the words “at the end of the day” replace “in the long run”?

  7. hmmmmm….
    I guess being in healthcare I have a slightly different take on all this.
    I fear it is becoming fashionable to dismiss hard work and experience. In my line of work there is no book, no website, no television program that prepares you – certainly no college does. Competence comes only with time and practice and experience. And you are never, ever “Done”.

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