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The skill – taste gap: compromising taste

“How can I improve my technique?”

“How can I make my vision a reality?”

We spend a lot of energy trying to close the skill – taste gap from the skill side.

Often, though, we close it by settling for something that is less than our taste demands. This can be an act of expedience (because “done” is better than “perfect”), unhelpful compromise (giving the customer what they want against our better moral judgement), service (giving the customer what they want against our better artistic taste), or even ambition (as a deliberate stepping-stone to greater skill and better taste).

  • Done is better than perfect (because perfect doesn’t exist, and returns diminish);
  • Compromising your moral judgement is wrong (although your judgement may change – just make sure it’s getting better);
  • Serving customers well is the way forward for your work (although you may be able to educate their taste, or to find better customers);
  • Always aim to make your ambitions the very best that they can be.

See also:

Ira Glass on the skill – taste gap (1)
Ira Glass on the skill – taste gap (2): Do it now
Mind at Work: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton, MVPs and innovation by accretion
Neal Stephenson on Speaking Arrangements; Art and Artists; Correspondence and Productive Writing

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...

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