It’s a phrase ignored by shoddy handymen the world over but a job isn’t done until it’s done right, right?
You see these people on TV makeover shows with wires hanging from the walls, and doors hanging off the cupboards, and wonder what was so important that the odd-job man had to pack up and leave before the task was completed. And nine times out of 10, I bet the answer is as simple as the next job.
But before embarking on that next big thing, it’s best to make sure that what you were working on has a big fat tick next to it first.
It’s a philosophy that can be applied to all sorts of things – but in particular, new inventions.
At the moment, the boffins are working on at least half a dozen schemes they’re hoping will set the world alight with their new-fangled ways of doing things.
Squirreled away somewhere, lit up only by the bright lights shining back at them from their computer screens, they’ve been working on winged cars and robots made with artificial skin.
Yet if they would only set their sights a little lower, they’d see there are plenty of everyday things that need some design tweaks first – and hair salon sinks are the perfect example.
Surely by now, someone should have come up with a model that doesn’t involve you craning your neck back 90 degrees into hard, cold, enamel. No one washes their hair like that but the person who thought it was a good idea probably moved on to that next big thing without so much as a backward glance.
Instead of being distracted by space travel, the clever folk could set their mind to all those other things that need to be ironed out first.
Forget fancy phones that take happy slapping to another level. Just give us a phone that can get a signal in every county we visit, not just the one where we live.
Give us buses that don’t break down on single-carriageway roads during rush hour.
And sat navs that don’t take 10-ton lorries down dead-end country lanes.
We’ve got years to dream up ways of surviving the journey to space. How about concentrating on the basics of life for now?