We were discussing something with a co-worker that I perceived as a problem, yet he didn’t. One of his arguments was:
Compared with other companies, we would be among the top ten percent.
Being among top ten percent is pretty good, right? Seriously, it is something worth celebrating. My problem is not with the result (even if in that particular case, I would disagree that the assessment was correct). The attitude just rubs me the wrong way.
Why stop at ten percent? Why not nine? Or even five? If we’re among the top ten percent, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. And you can’t tell me that it’s impossible. If you’re not the best at something, there is clearly something you can do to improve. What is stopping us from top one percent? What could be changed for the better?
That’s closer to how I look at things. But it’s still not right.
It’s not really about ten percent. It’s not about one percent. It’s not even about zero-point-one percent. That’s not what matters. It’s about the process. It’s about striving to be better and making things better around you.
It’s not about becoming perfect. Flawless does not exist. You think that companies like GitHub or Valve are perfect places to work? They ain’t perfect. Even GitHub is not as perfect place to work for, as GitHub says it is. But every time you listen to presentation by Holman, they seemed to improved. That’s what matters.
Never settle. Because just when you do… Someone else won’t.