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April 15, 2012


Jon Bell

Nice write-up. I agree with all of your insights (#1, #2, and #3). But I'd take it a step further. Not only is an "awesomeness" process bullshit, I think it's harmful and distracting.

There are people who create high quality things through dedication to their craft, and just takes a lot of hard work ... and then there are people who are merely chasing cool. Sports metaphor: everyone wants to dunk, no one wants to work on the fundamentals. Cooking metaphor: great chefs don't need to rely on culinary fashion to wow - they just prepare a handful of ingredients very well. Dating metaphor: some people are naturally charismatic and "awesome", others read "500 Ways To Trick Women to Jump In Your Bed".

High quality isn't complicated, it's just incredibly hard. Each new buzzword promises and fails to find a shortcut to all the hard work.


These 3 areas of insight look like part of a taxonomy of approaches toward the same goal. Any of them could create awful or awesome results, with varying degrees of time, individual engagement, or - god forbid - innovation.

They may also all tend towards different kinds of results. Awesome things are often awesome in ways that aren't shared with each other. Categorizing and analyzing all awesome results together is as impractical as creating a music genre called "good music."

I guess I have taxonomies on the brain today. At the implementation level, we use the word "awesome," for the connotation and sustainment of enthusiasm, which is important to our success. I am now alerted to its use as a buzzword, thanks to you.


Regarding you'll-know-it-when-you-have-it and keep-iterating: I recommend reading this passage in the most recent HBJ bit about St SJ:

“I didn’t sleep last night,” he said, “because I realized that I just don’t love it.”


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