Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Being Marginal

Paul Graham on The Power of the Marginal. An excerpt:

The eminent, on the other hand, are almost forced to work on a large scale. Instead of garden sheds they must design huge art museums. One reason they work on big things is that they can: like our hypothetical novelist, they're flattered by such opportunities. They also know that big projects will by their sheer bulk impress the audience. A garden shed, however lovely, would be easy to ignore; a few might even snicker at it. You can't snicker at a giant museum, no matter how much you dislike it. And finally, there are all those people the eminent have working for them; they have to choose projects that can keep them all busy.

Outsiders are free of all this. They can work on small things, and there's something very pleasing about small things. Small things can be perfect; big ones always have something wrong with them. But there's a magic in small things that goes beyond such rational explanations. All kids know it. Small things have more personality.Plus making them is more fun. You can do what you want; you don't have to satisfy committees. And perhaps most important, small things can be done fast. The prospect of seeing the finished project hangs in the air like the smell of dinner cooking. If you work fast, maybe you could have it done tonight.

[HT: BusinessPundit ]

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