Create enduring value

On the difference between perfectionism, craftsmanship, and laziness

Perfectionism is a disconnect between the effort spent and the value created from that effort.

Example: Handwriting a to-do list in perfect calligraphy that’s going to be thrown away at the end of the day.

Craftsmanship is a commitment to as-close-to-perfect-as-reasonably-possible.

The key term here is “reasonably”.

Often times, doing something the wrong way takes just as long (or longer) as doing it the right way.

Craftsmanship is a commitment to doing things as best as humanly possible, while still maintaining a healthy balance of effort spent and value created. Craftsmanship also recognizes that additional effort invested upfront can save countless amounts of future effort. 

Example: Building a house so that it both lasts a long time and has minimal maintenance costs along the way.

Laziness, conversely, is to ignore both the present and future implications of the quality of one’s work.

Laziness means knowingly doing something the wrong way, despite the right way requiring a similar amount of effort.

Examples: Throwing your trash on the ground instead of waiting until you can find a trash can. Or sending a typo-ridden email instead of using spellcheck before sending. Leaving elements misaligned in a design.

Perfectionism and laziness are both short-sighted, but for opposite reasons.

Craftsmanship is far-sighted. Craftsmanship commits to quality in the present in order to create long-term, enduring value.

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