…minor and major contributions… fluctuate together. Those periods in a creator’s life that see the most masterpieces also witness the greatest number of easily forgotten productions, on the average.
Another way of saying the same thing is to note that the “quality ratio,” or the proportion of major products to total output per age unit, tends to fluctuate randomly over the course of any career. The quality ratio neither increases nor decreases with age…
These outcomes are valid for both artistic and scientific modes of creative contribution. What these two results signify is that… age becomes irrelevant to determining the success of a particular contribution.Dean Simonton – Age and Outstanding Achievement: What Do We Know After a Century of Research? (Excerpted by Marc Andreessen)
There’s been an unsurprising amount written about this idea. There’s
- Andreessen on Age and the Entrepreneur;
- A nice Malcolm Gladwell piece about “wild geysers of creative energy“;
- Jeff Atwood with Quantity Always Trumps Quality (including a nice parable about a pottery teacher who grades one group of students by weight of pots produced and another by the quality of their single best pot…);
- Alexander Obenaur on the same kind of thing;
- Seth Godin on doing it daily;
- DriverlessCrocodile on faster feedback, action as idea filter, on Beatrix Potter, on Being Prolific and building a Body of Work;
- The importance of a high cycle speed of the build, measure learn cycle in entrepreneurship.
I hope this helps – I’ve got to go and try something out.