Perfection is the enemy

In the opening day of a ceramic class, the teacher told half the class for the whole semester, they’d be graded for one pot and its perfection. Let’s call this the quality group. To the other half of the class the teacher said she was gonna grade them by the total weight of the pots they’ve done by the end of the semester. She wouldn’t care about the results, details or anything. Just weight. This is the quantity group.
So on the last day of class an outside observer came in–who didn’t know about this experiment. And surprisingly, all the best works of pottery came for the quantity group, not the quality one.
But if you really think about it, it makes total sense. The quantity group has been making lots and lots of mistakes, learning from them and building things constantly. While the quality group has nothing to show… just a simple pot. Nothing remarkable because they haven’t learned from their mistakes.
I love this story.
Now let me give you another example: This blog and why I write daily posts.
Let me say something first: writing an idea a day is tough. Not everyday you feel in the mood. Other days you’re just to busy and you’d forget you have to publish something if it wasn’t for your alarm (yeap, I have one of those set up).
Some days I think, this thing is not perfect, and I’d like to make something perfect everyday, but… it doesn’t work like that.
But again, maybe not every post is a master piece, but deliberate practicing something pays off: Some of those posts will resonate with people. That’s something you can’t do without writing every single day. And having a daily deadline helps of course.
So, whether you’re making pots, or writing a blog, quantity beats quality every time.

(P.S. I first heard the ceramic story in this talk, but I’m not sure where it comes from)