Rands (AKA Michael Lopp) has a very thought provoking article on taking the long term view while undertaking new projects, using the example of early suspension bridges build in the USA:
These bridges stand as a physical testament to the ambition and determination of the people who undertook these projects, which were achieved in spite of the obvious scale of the problems they had to solve. The article reminds me of an earlier one by Joel Spolsky:
I am now 3.5 years into developing the Alpha Framework and still have not made it to version 1.0 yet (although it is in beta usage on a number of sites, including this one). It is reassuring to know though that I still have 6.5 years to go before I have something good on my hands ;-)
Updated 2021 : note that the above post was originally published in 2009, but is left here for archival purposes. I have fixed the external links that were broken.