Quality Comes Through Quantity

What are you going after…quality or quantity? The underlying assumption is that it’s an “either or” proposition. I remember reading this story years ago and the lesson it teaches brought a new perspective on the debate.

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: 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. More>>

Quality Comes Through Quantity…

The more you do, the better you get. Now it doesn’t mean you need to showcase everything you do…that’s where careful content curation come into play. But the underlying principle holds…practice (with reflection, correction and coaching) makes perfect. Don’t get so hung up on making your work perfect, that you never deliver.

As the “scariness” and “newness” of the process of production wears off, I found you are able to mentally turn your focus more on the work, then the process of doing the work…and there is a natural uptick in quality.

There will always be “one more” thing you can adjust, tweak, make “better.”

Don’t be afraid.

As one of my favorite bloggers and authors Seth Godin says, at some point you’ve got to “Ship it!”

2 thoughts on “Quality Comes Through Quantity

    1. Thank you Greg. As I’ve heard you say, as a photographer, about 2% of what we shoot is usable. “Better” pictures is directly linked to “More” pictures taken.

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