EppsNet Archive: Mediocrity

Jim McCarthy on Steve Jobs

He was utterly intolerant and disdainful of, and even mean spirited about, mediocrity. Not a designer himself, but a sublime critical thinker, he totally focused his life’s work on design perfection. This intensity, obsessiveness, and his total lack of compassion about others’ inferior thinking resulted – over a period of about 25 years, in five or six truly, climactically great products (the reader – as an exercise – may figure out what they were, and why they make the cut.) — Jim McCarthy Read more →

My Family’s Guide to Failure

At a recent family gathering, someone whom I won’t name here recommended to my son, a high school senior, that he start looking for a community college to attend for a couple of years before transferring to a four-year school. “That’s a good idea,” I said. “Do you have any more good ideas? Maybe he should punch himself in the face really hard.” One of the things I love about my boy is that when he does something, he puts his heart into it. He takes on the risk of failure. The safe approach — and historically the preferred method in my family — is to do things indifferently, fail, then announce that you weren’t really trying and that you could have succeeded if you’d wanted to.” We have family members who — despite, to my knowledge, having never done or said an intelligent thing in their lives — never… Read more →