Once you’ve shipped a lot of work, you start chasing it. You no longer fear shipping or releasing work; in fact, you might be hooked on it. Ship early, ship often, you think.
The challenge changes. Anyone can ship early, even amateurs. People use shipping to phone in bad work all the time; that’s how technical, documentation, and creative debt accrues.
It’s way more challenging to ship well. To ship something that’s not only acceptable and sensible; perhaps even a delight. To ship something that actually has a shot of doing what you’re dreaming of, or creating a feeling of magic in the person who’s seeing your work for the first time.
This goes double when the stakes are high; in a situation when you just have just one chance to make a good impression. It definitely helps to have a clear definition and idea of what quality means to you. When in doubt, don’t ship it to the receiver yet—ask some friends for feedback.
Imperfections—even an occasional oversight—can be excused; we’re all human beings. Sloppy, bad work, that you know you’re better than, or all but disqualifies you from the running, can not. Resist impatience.