In a relatively recent post, I teased writing about the “attractive nuisance” of freelancers and aspiring business owners branding their work as “high quality.” And now I’m going to do just that. I think this is important.
But I’ve got to say, sometimes it feels like I’m just swimming in contrarian hot takes and click-baiting my way to, well… to I don’t know what exactly. I mean, it’s not like I have any real mission on this site other than talking about whatever pops into my head.
Still, though. I swear I’m not just an aspiring middle aged edgelord. There is a method to the madness.
High Quality Work Itself is, Of Course, Desirable
To prove it, I’ll make clear that I have no actual problem with the ideas of doing things well, mastering skills or taking pride in one’s work. I wouldn’t advise you to do things poorly.
After all, just recently, I re-caulked my shower and never once thought, “meh, I’ll just spray this stuff at the seams until it’s everywhere and call it a day.” Instead, I got out the rubbing alcohol, putty knife, painter’s tape, and worried at it until I had a smooth, symmetrical bead.
Off the cuff, I’d say situations where doing shoddy work is any kind of advantage, in a vacuum, are really quite rare. Maybe rapid prototyping or something…? With most work personal and professional, there’s no need to overthink whether excellence trumps mediocrity. It does.
The trouble is that positioning your work as “high quality” is a much different beast from doing work that is high quality (which, I might argue is just table stakes for conducing business and not a differentiator).
Confused? No worries. I’ll explain.