In “We Don’t Sell Saddles Here” Stewart Butterfield elaborates on the importance of excellence, of looking hard at your work and finding the things that do not work.
Doing A “Good Job” vs. Trying Your Absolute Hardest
Stewart’s message reminds me of this magnificent scene in Whiplash with Terence Fletcher (played by J. K. Simmons), a cut-throat instructor in a music conservatory who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.
Justifying his, very mildly said, harsh way of teaching Terence explains to his student:
There are no two words in the English language more harmful than “Good Job”.
Both Terence Fletcher and Stewart Butterfield make the point that you should be harsh (foremost to yourself), in the interest of being excellent.
This is something I push myself to do as well – evaluate as many options as needed, be rigorous in the selection criteria and when I have chosen – try my absolute hardest.
Because why else would you even want to be alive but to do things as well as you can?