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Quantity Beats Quality

Thomas Edison was asked who he thought had the best ideas. He responded, “The person with the most ideas.”

There’s a wonderful story in the book Art & Fear, about a ceramics class.

The teacher told the students on day one that they’ll be divided into two groups.

Group 1 will be graded on the quantity of pots they make. It doesn’t matter how good or bad they are. All that counts is the number. The more pots, the higher the grade.

Group 2 will be graded on the quality of pots they make. All that counts is how perfect their pots are.

Assessment day was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the ‘quantity’ group. The more pots, the more weight, the higher the grade. Those being graded on ‘quality’, however, needed to produce only one perfect pot to get the highest grade.

Something interesting happened on assessment day: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity…

“It seems that while the quantity group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the quality group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.”

People see my successes and have no idea how many failures I’ve had – on a regular basis.

Start today on that thing that scares you.
And when you fail. Because you will.
Start again.

And again.
And again. 

Quantity beats quality.

Love. Rich

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