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Mind the Gap: Content-Creators Versus the Toner-Heads

Post #1665 • March 24, 2014, 1:06 PM • 1 Comment

We don't often get a new essay from John Link so it's a pleasure when we do.

What is interesting about the A players, besides how very rare they are, is that they don't like to work with B and C players. Yet, that is usually their lot in life. Implicitly, when this is the case, their work is not as good as it could be. Once gathered into a group that is free from the B and C players, they are happier, but still need leadership, even though they are quite difficult to lead. The key to leadership is the exercise of taste as the unifying value, even when the goal is to produce tools that intrinsically serve some outside task. All aspects of design - from usability to pure aesthetics - form the spirit of the tool, so that it can rise to the level of being the best there is. It takes incredible attention to craft to accomplish this. What you don't do is just as important as what you do because the road to excellence is narrow and exclusionary. The obsessive insistence on quality that is characteristic of A players and diminished in the rest drives the project forward. Perhaps the reason A players don't do well with lesser talent is the lessors are numb to quality in the first place, so the hassle of communicating with them and accommodating their weaknesses is an exhausting and ultimately fruitless task that detracts from the final outcome.

What does this have to do with art? Everything. Go read.



John Link

March 27, 2014, 7:05 PM

Thanks, Franklin. Steve Jobs also said, "The way that we're gonna ratchet up our species is to take the best and spread it around to everybody ..." That's easier said than done.



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