I was talking with Mark Sherrill
a couple of weeks ago about standards. Not web standards or or anything. Personal standards. Now it's important to note that Mark is perhaps the best designer that I have ever met. So you see, it was kind of an important talk for me. I think I learned something about how to set the bar for myself and my work.
Anyway Mark starts telling this crazy story from his undergrad years about a professor that he had who lit his student's projects on fire and watched them burn. He burned the projects. Because he didn't feel like it was worth teaching students to adhere to a lower standard.
Wanna know something crazier? There was a story
in WIRED not so long ago about Samsung that starts with Kun-hee Lee's famous "voluntary incineration" at Gunmi after a batch of defective cellular phones.
At Lee's command, the factory's 2,000 employees donned headbands labeled Quality First and assembled in a courtyard. There they found their entire inventory piled in a heap - cell phones, fax machines, nearly $50 million worth of equipment. A banner before them read Quality Is My Pride. Beneath it sat Lee and his board of directors. Ten workers took the products one by one, smashed them with hammers, and threw them into a bonfire. Before it was over, employees were weeping.
To get to your best, you can't settle for alright.