In slight praise of mediocrity

Seth’s Blog: On Mediocrity

While I agree with the spirit of this post, and specifically with:

Part of the curse of Wall Street is that enough is never enough. So short-term thinking sets in.

I also have to put in a word for mediocrity (maybe just to be contrary :-). It comes down to this:

It has to do with our willingness to settle for work product that just isn’t that good–at the same time we vote with our dollars to buy things and experiences that are exceptional.

I, for one, have a finite number of dollars to vote with, and I’d rather have more to use for exceptional video cards, say, than exceptional check holders, so I’ll choose the mediocre holder.

I don’t think capitalism could work without having a mix of exceptional and mediocre products, so that different people can express their different values through that dollar-voting process.

And, yada yada, you could say, “well, there’s no reason why everyone can’t just put it 110% and make everything they create of the highest caliber, and labor doesn’t cost anything, and throwing out a bruised tomato to save the appearance of the salad isn’t going to hurt anyone, and…” well, now that I think of it, I’m sure you wouldn’t say that.

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