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Why 'good enough' isn't enough

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Empires

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One of the many things I've learned from my girlfriend is that there is a big difference in how you do things.

In her architecture and interior design classes they have to make models for projects. One day I am on facetime with her while she is working and one of the window frames cracks. She gets stressed out and when she showed me the crack it didn't seem that bad to me, but it was a big deal to her. So I asked her why and she said because "I want it to be perfect". She had put around 20 hours into this model, there was no cutting corners.

When she arrived at class, some students didn't show up with models at all. When she talked to the students who did bring models, they said "I started mine at 10pm last night" or "I started mine yesterday morning". My girlfriend had started working on hers over a week ago. All of the students and teachers in her classes rave about her work and consider her the standard they should be reaching for, and when you see how much work she puts into the projects it makes sense.

But then they don't put in the work. They just do 'enough'. That isn't enough. If you want to stand out you have to do what other people aren't willing to do. This goes for business and everything in life. Doing what everyone else is doing will get you the same results as them. Be better.
 

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One of the many things I've learned from my girlfriend is that there is a big difference in how you do things.

In her architecture and interior design classes they have to make models for projects. One day I am on facetime with her while she is working and one of the window frames cracks. She gets stressed out and when she showed me the crack it didn't seem that bad to me, but it was a big deal to her. So I asked her why and she said because "I want it to be perfect". She had put around 20 hours into this model, there was no cutting corners.

When she arrived at class, some students didn't show up with models at all. When she talked to the students who did bring models, they said "I started mine at 10pm last night" or "I started mine yesterday morning". My girlfriend had started working on hers over a week ago. All of the students and teachers in her classes rave about her work and consider her the standard they should be reaching for, and when you see how much work she puts into the projects it makes sense.

But then they don't put in the work. They just do 'enough'. That isn't enough. If you want to stand out you have to do what other people aren't willing to do. This goes for business and everything in life. Doing what everyone else is doing will get you the same results as them. Be better.
Not sure I agree with this. You've left out key details. It's nice that people enjoyed your girlfriend's creation, but I suspect those who put in just enough still passed the class. Meanwhile they likely experienced less stress and worry over minor details that probably didn't matter anyway. Getting the results you want is what matters. Only those who didn't bring a model really failed, or did they? I don't know. If they still passed then the whole story is kind of a moot point.

I launch things when they're good enough or even when they don't exist yet. Then I work to improve as I go. I'd rather launch with what I've got, do the best I can and work to improve over time based on the feedback I get from the market.

You might stand out if you wait for perfection. But you also might not. And then we also end up with a question of "what is perfect?" Which leads to more and more time wasting and action-faking while trying to make things better, never believing they're quite "good enough."

You only need to be "good enough" to get results. Standing out happens when you work to deliver what the market wants as you grow. So while I do agree that we should strive to deliver the best product we can and to stand out from the crowd, I also think "good enough" is exactly what to aim for when you're getting started.
 

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Sounds like she'll make a great architect working for someone else's architecture firm. Those a great people to look for when staffing your business. Great people to hire to design your building.

One thing to admire is that she is doing it for herself and to meet her standard. More important than what the teachers / school / others have to say. THAT will help her greatly.
 

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You might stand out if you wait for perfection. But you also might not. And then we also end up with a question of "what is perfect?" Which leads to more and more time wasting and action-faking while trying to make things better, never believing they're quite "good enough."
This is part of the process. You can be a perfectionist and end up wasting too much time editing, writing, detailing, focused on precision, analytics, measurements, land get caught up in the perimeters of whatever your trying to accomplish. Then she may say, "I did all this work. I'm not appreciated. I'm not valued. I'm not good enough." Simply because in her mind, she believes she needs to control the outcome. I've done this myself. Be the perfect employee, the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect friend, the perfect writer, the perfect poet, the perfect authority in my field. It's good to a certain extent, but also can hold you back in life from reaching your full potential and delivering.
It's usually about wanting to be the best, the top person, and sure, I usually do master what ever I put my mind too. And most people don't give a rip. It's needed to a certain extent for quality products. But at the same time, you can be like this with yourself, which does cause stress that you didn't need to experience.
Letting go of perfectionism liberates you.
 

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One day I am on facetime with her while she is working and one of the window frames cracks. She gets stressed out and when she showed me the crack it didn't seem that bad to me, but it was a big deal to her. So I asked her why and she said because "I want it to be perfect". She had put around 20 hours into this model, there was no cutting corners.
It's very important to have a part of a structure to not have even small cracks at all.

We are talking about an important part of the building that has to last for DECADES.

And consider that the folks who buy the house or office building might not even have the presence of mind to do constant maintenance, even if it could save them from being buried under the rubble of a future collapse.

I've stayed in student dorms whose past occupants never complained about broken heaters and shot switches because they were too stoned playing WoW like the addicts they are. So I had to do the hard work of getting management to fix things up.

So, somehow, you have to 'do the work' for them beforehand, even in the building stages.
But even then, contractors do cut corners by ordering substandard materials, to save more profits for themselves. :rage:

When she arrived at class, some students didn't show up with models at all. When she talked to the students who did bring models, they said "I started mine at 10pm last night" or "I started mine yesterday morning". My girlfriend had started working on hers over a week ago. All of the students and teachers in her classes rave about her work and consider her the standard they should be reaching for, and when you see how much work she puts into the projects it makes sense.

But then they don't put in the work. They just do 'enough'. That isn't enough. If you want to stand out you have to do what other people aren't willing to do. This goes for business and everything in life. Doing what everyone else is doing will get you the same results as them. Be better.
I quit going to my marketing and business modelling classes because the lecturers were basically talking to themselves in the discussions, and I couldn't come up with questions I didn't know how to ask.

Everyone was just going crickets, and very few were throwing meaningful ideas and questions.

I'm wondering if this might signal a future where I'd drop out entirely.

My respect for uni students in general have dropped a few points (and many points higher for those who fight hard to be better:smile:).
 
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ZCP

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i teach a robotics lab one night a week ........ most students are there because that is what they were told / thought they needed to do. no one has excited them by asking 'what is your why?' ....... that is until i come along and hit them w/ reality like a mack truck......

my high school kids are being taught by the system that you work 8 to 5, get extra time to turn stuff in because someone's mom called, and you just need to pass some tests or the teachers will be reassigned. luckily most play sports / do extra curricular activities to at least learn something useful.

girlfriend is a school counselor ....... most kids have no idea what they want and are waiting for mom to tell them. many signup for act/sat testing and don't even show up. most will go to some college and hope to find their way there.

@Empires push your girl to be even better! to be truly great and to be so great that others take note and more doors begin to open for her. handle all the other bs for her and let her talent be developed. could be a great architecture firm one day!!
 

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girlfriend is a school counselor ....... most kids have no idea what they want and are waiting for mom to tell them. many signup for act/sat testing and don't even show up. most will go to some college and hope to find their way there.

@Empires push your girl to be even better! to be truly great and to be so great that others take note and more doors begin to open for her. handle all the other bs for her and let her talent be developed. could be a great architecture firm one day!!
You summed up my very own relationship and Fastlane aim quite nicely! Rep+!

I used to be quite bitter with my parents over their inability to help in that area. Saw them as shills that just parroted crap from somebody.

Then I realised all that negativity just wasn't going anywhere, so I decided that I could be a better parent myself, who knew how to lead my own children to a better view of the world.

that is until i come along and hit them w/ reality like a mack truck......
Something tells me I would love to attend your class... :smile:
 

Andy Black

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I’d want my architect or engineer to be a perfectionist, but not my landing page designer or developer.

This might be interesting:
 

ZF Lee

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I’d want my architect or engineer to be a perfectionist, but not my landing page designer or developer.

This might be interesting:
I guess it's because an engineer or architect can't split-test the Empire State Building as quickly and easily as a SAAS landing page...:rofl:

You can do projections and small-scaled models, but even then they have limitations.
 

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Mattie

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girlfriend is a school counselor ....... most kids have no idea what they want and are waiting for mom to tell them. many signup for act/sat testing and don't even show up. most will go to some college and hope to find their way there.
This is kind of funny, because about the time my child entered college I had already them with this forum and book. This forum kind of sparked them in the right direction. I suppose it just depends on what Mom says. I usually have always taught life long learning.

I used to get into it with teachers some times because I had more of the focus on one thing at a time because usually children have the same issue. You put a pile of stuff in front of them, they get overwhelmed and stressed out. I gave one assignment at a time, and took the rest of the homework out of eye sight and made them finish one thing. Then pull out the next assignment. There was no problem getting it done this way.

We had all kinds of folders, planners, and I had more of the Love & Logic approach and also Bavolek Parenting. I allowed them to make choices and the natural consequences to choices.

The Parent in general teaches them quality or poor quality in education. I was one of those people with all the developmental toys, books, puzzles, art, building materials, electronics. Stimulation of the mind. I even had social games, all these neat games from the Mackinac Kite Company that were more stimulating, but expensive. I invested more in the brain of my child.
 

eliquid

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A lot of you guys are exactly the OP's girlfriend's co-students in this thread and missing a much larger point and life lesson.

How you do anything, is how you do everything.

.
 

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“There comes a time in every project when you must shoot the engineers and begin production.”
Lol. That’s funny coming from an engineer.
 
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Empires

Empires

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Not sure I agree with this. You've left out key details. It's nice that people enjoyed your girlfriend's creation, but I suspect those who put in just enough still passed the class. Meanwhile they likely experienced less stress and worry over minor details that probably didn't matter anyway. Getting the results you want is what matters. Only those who didn't bring a model really failed, or did they? I don't know. If they still passed then the whole story is kind of a moot point.

I launch things when they're good enough or even when they don't exist yet. Then I work to improve as I go. I'd rather launch with what I've got, do the best I can and work to improve over time based on the feedback I get from the market.

You might stand out if you wait for perfection. But you also might not. And then we also end up with a question of "what is perfect?" Which leads to more and more time wasting and action-faking while trying to make things better, never believing they're quite "good enough."

You only need to be "good enough" to get results. Standing out happens when you work to deliver what the market wants as you grow. So while I do agree that we should strive to deliver the best product we can and to stand out from the crowd, I also think "good enough" is exactly what to aim for when you're getting started.
If you take out the fact that it's a class, how does one stand out by doing the same amount of work as everyone else? If everyone is striving to be just good enough, then you are no different than everyone else.

Assuming it is quality work, if you worked for 5 hours and launched a product but I had worked 20 hours and launched a product at the same time, who would be ahead of the game?

Her definition of perfect simply meant to her standards, not that her model was without flaws.
 
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Empires

Empires

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Sounds like she'll make a great architect working for someone else's architecture firm. Those a great people to look for when staffing your business. Great people to hire to design your building.

One thing to admire is that she is doing it for herself and to meet her standard. More important than what the teachers / school / others have to say. THAT will help her greatly.
She's actually an interior design major, but they require some architecture classes. To meet her own standard is exactly why she does what she does. She loves what she does.

i teach a robotics lab one night a week ........ most students are there because that is what they were told / thought they needed to do. no one has excited them by asking 'what is your why?' ....... that is until i come along and hit them w/ reality like a mack truck......

my high school kids are being taught by the system that you work 8 to 5, get extra time to turn stuff in because someone's mom called, and you just need to pass some tests or the teachers will be reassigned. luckily most play sports / do extra curricular activities to at least learn something useful.

girlfriend is a school counselor ....... most kids have no idea what they want and are waiting for mom to tell them. many signup for act/sat testing and don't even show up. most will go to some college and hope to find their way there.

@Empires push your girl to be even better! to be truly great and to be so great that others take note and more doors begin to open for her. handle all the other bs for her and let her talent be developed. could be a great architecture firm one day!!
We push each other every single day. She already has doors opening for her because of the work she puts in. She cold emailed her top 5 firms in the area and had 2 call backs for interviews. She is the only person in her Sophmore class working as an intern at a firm already, and has had a second even larger firm reach out to her for a job interview. She has goals larger than just working at a firm.
 

Andy Black

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I don't want to belabour the point, because I get your point too.

Assuming it is quality work, if you worked for 5 hours and launched a product but I had worked 20 hours and launched a product at the same time, who would be ahead of the game?
I'd say... the person who worked for 5 hours and launched 15 hours ahead of you?

Not just because they're 15 hours ahead of you, but because they can move faster. Their product is likely quicker to iterate (unless those extra 15 hours was spent making the product quicker to iterate of course).



I say this because I've often had engineer types "build stuff" because they can or because it's a new challenge. This has delayed launches by *weeks*. And when I finally get the landing page I ask them to remove all those fancy bells and whistles - so I can get a baseline AND because I think they're going to distract visitors from our actual goal (of ringing the client).

Soooo... they spend time building stuff that I then ask them to remove. We might add it back in to test if it really does improve visit-to-enquiry conversion rates, but we need to run without so we have the baseline.

(I used to be an engineer type btw.)


Good enough means just that. Good enough to get the result you want. If you don't get the grades you want because you submitted something "good enough" then by definition it wasn't good enough. (That's the engineer/maths in me coming out...)



Good enough for the lady in the OP was a bar higher than just getting a grade. Good for her.

I vacuumed carpets in a big furniture showroom in one of my earliest jobs. I was so anal about it that management commented and took me on full-time in the warehouse.

As @eliquid already said: "How you do anything is how you do everything."
 

Walter Hay

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Robert De Castella, Australia's first Olympic Marathon Gold winner was asked what was the secret to his success.

His reply: "You must be prepared to cross the pain threshold." I think he was a perfectionist.

Walter
 

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Assuming it is quality work, if you worked for 5 hours and launched a product but I had worked 20 hours and launched a product at the same time, who would be ahead of the game?
We would all agree that the person who put in the 20 hours would likely be ahead. This thread has 2 different discussions though. Definitive deadlines vs. a fluid market.

In a situation where there is a definitive deadline then of course the person who puts more time in will likely be most successful.

However, the market rarely, if ever, has a definitive deadline. So the scenario would be re-framed this way...I work 5 months on something and then launch it while you work an additional 15 months trying to make it perfect. Your product turns out to be incrementally or even exponentially better but your entire market has already purchased my product. Who is ahead of that game?
 
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Empires

Empires

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We would all agree that the person who put in the 20 hours would likely be ahead. This thread has 2 different discussions though. Definitive deadlines vs. a fluid market.

In a situation where there is a definitive deadline then of course the person who puts more time in will likely be most successful.

However, the market rarely, if ever, has a definitive deadline. So the scenario would be re-framed this way...I work 5 months on something and then launch it while you work an additional 15 months trying to make it perfect. Your product turns out to be incrementally or even exponentially better but your entire market has already purchased my product. Who is ahead of that game?
I agree with this in this scenario. In a fluid market it is about out working your competitors. Accomplishing in 2.5 months what takes your competitor 5 months. Iterating faster than they can keep up with. A "good enough" mindset would not iterate faster. A good enough mindset would just keep you comfortable, not as the best.
 

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How you do anything, is how you do everything.
^ So much this.

Going the extra miles on overdelivery whether you're a grocery bagger right now or a CFO of a Fortune 50 company separates long term successes from long term dabblers.

Take this forum for example: As far as I can tell no stone has been left unturned to deliver a best-in-class experience to the users. Hence, all of the vibrant activity and excellent advice here.
 

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