Tuesday, May 29, 2007
"For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail."
-- Benjamin Franklin
Monday, May 28, 2007
I'll be putting up a few posts soon, Starting with a brief essay I've been contemplating for a few months: The Mundane Detail
If you’ve seen the movie ‘Office space’ then you probably remember the scene when the three main characters discuss how their money skimming scheme has gone awry and discover they will probably be going to prison. Michael, reveals what has given them away…
“I always do that. I always mess up some mundane detail.”
Yep, $300,000 and a prison sentence, traced back to a ‘mundane detail’
It’s the sort of thing that I have encountered too often. People don’t place value on things that seem simple or ordinary, but these are the things that often end up being important.
If there’s a lesson to be learned from this, I suppose it is that details can be simple, and even boring, and yet still be insanely important to your work or others, so try to stay sharp, and don’t overlook the little stuff.
An afterthought: I am not immune to this problem myself. I would like to comfort myself with the thought that the details I miss are more subtle than the examples listed here, but the truth is that nobody is perfect. Of course that doesn’t mean we can’t strive for perfection.