4/6/2014

Quantity for Quality

A great story about a ceramics teacher from the book Art & Fear which is very apt to understand experimenting  and prototyping for innovation. Thanks to James Clear for this.

The ceramics teacher announced 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 pounds 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, grading time came 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 around theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.


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