Company High/Low - 11/2/20

Company High/Low - 11/2/20



"The secret of success is to do the common thing uncommonly well." -John D. Rockefeller Jr.


Sometimes we get caught up trying to stand out by doing uncommon things. We try to think up new ideas, new designs, and new processes that we think will revolutionize our lives. There is absolutely a place for that - I think of it as "generative" creativity. It's an extremely important part of how we advance and innovate.

There is, however, another side to creativity that is just as important - it's the process by which we take the ideas we have, and continually refine them as they become a reality. This "iterative" creativity is what allows our ideas to reach their full potential.

This kind of creativity takes time and commitment. It turns out, this requirement of time and commitment forces to evaluate which ideas are worth the most effort - which ones have the most potential to become something greater.


This is another example of one of the most common tradeoffs we have to make on a daily basis: quantity vs. quality. You could have any number of infinite ideas, but if you don't put in the work to implement and refine them, you'll get nothing out of them. On the other hand, if you have only one idea that you continually develop, you may find yourself lacking in anything outside of it.

In summary, you need both quantity and quality, breadth and depth, generation and iteration. The above quote from Rockefeller Jr. is really only telling us half the story - imagine if you did both common and uncommon things uncommonly well!

What are some areas of your life that might need some iteration? What about areas that require a more "generative" approach?