One of the most important things in business (and more importantly life) is finding a balance. Everything in moderation, including moderation. Work too much or too intensely and the quality of your work will almost surely decline. Work too little or too absentmindedly and you may just find yourself out of a job. Striving to find and being able to recognize a balance are key skills for anyone looking to excel in the business world and the real world.
Maintaining the balance can be a difficult task. Companies who don't care about the quality of a product and ship as soon as possible will undoubtedly encounter negative feedback and have to either cover the problem up or go back and fix the issue at a higher cost than it would've taken to get it right in the first place. Companies who are obsessed with the quality of a product can easily waste too much time developing and produce something that completely misses the mark.
Time for some examples! Since this is a software company, we'll talk about everyone's favorite type of software – video games.
Nintendo not only came back from the dead with the Wii, they also blew the pants off of Microsoft and Sony. How could the cheapest and most simplistic gaming console outsell consoles with the highest end processing and graphics technology? Easy, they created something innovative, smart, and just plain fun. But the Wii has more recently been catching criticism for having by far the weakest game base of all the platforms. Everyone I know that has a Wii, including myself, has a collection of about five games, one or two of which are actually played consistently. There's a blatant lack of quality games available for the Wii (though don't mistake the generic slaughter fests XBOX and PS3 are famous for as quality games either). Nintendo is now retracing their steps and releasing updated hardware for the Wii in an attempt to rejuvenate their audience. Only time will tell if it works.
Now the other end of the spectrum. Duke Nukem Forever has been in production since 1997. Yes, twelve years. Take Two Interactive has since simply stated that it will be released "when it's done". You can read all about the development history on Wikipedia, but it boils down as a classic case of a production team making too many changes and trying to make their game too perfect. Most assume the game will never be released, and even if it ever is I doubt twelve years worth of development will be noticeable. There were many contributing factors to this catastrophe inside and out, but it's a great example of a company being too committed to quality and failing in the never-ending quest for perfection.
In the middle lies one of the most respected gaming companies in the world. Blizzard Entertainment releases a game every few years. They spend countless hours turning their games into masterpieces, and every title has earned high praise, including several Game Of The Year awards. Their games are never perfect, however. You can put money on it that if you buy a brand new Blizzard game there will already be an update for it when you take it online. Blizzard releases a product reflective of their best abilities and then fine tune the game based on the most important aspect - how the players play it. Several months after major game releases, an expansion is sure to follow which always includes amazing and intuitive new features and functions that make the original game better. They're also not afraid to scrap something when they know it's headed down the wrong path, as was the case with Starcraft: Ghost.
There is no magical formula for creating a product. Experience, intuition, and a good gut feeling all help, but they're all meaningless if your next venture is doomed from the start. Learn the lessons of both success and failure from these companies and the endless others in the same position. Don't be afraid to spend time and money creating something, but have the humility to take a step back and evaluate it without emotion. Don't give your customers a crap product, but don't kill yourself trying to make something perfect that may not even get picked up. Strive to find a balance.