4% Less

I swore I wouldn’t do it again.  Too many bloggers clamoring for his link love.  Too many times I’ve quoted him before.  (Not to mention that interview almost three years ago now on Open Source CU that BTW never got any friggin comments).

But I can’t help it.  I have to — yet again — swoon over something said by Seth Godin.  His post: “The Sad Lie of Mediocrity”:

Doing 4% less does not get you 4% less.

Doing 4% less may very well get you 95% less.

That’s because almost good enough gets you nowhere. No sales, no votes, no customers. The sad lie of mediocrity is the mistaken belief that partial effort yields partial results. In fact, the results are usually totally out of proportion to the incremental effort.

Hear, hear.

6 thoughts on “4% Less

  1. WOW! Not only “WOW” on your post but the immediate comment by Mr. Godin. I am a big big fan of his approach. There I said it.

    The 4% less analogy is playing itself out in this Great Recession as companies like Linens-n-Things, Foot Locker and Ann Taylor start closing stores.

    They’ve all have that “yup, we’re still here” mentality in their stores. Nothing very special – same old stuff they had when they opened….nothing new…blah blah blah…bye bye….
    .

  2. As usual, Denise said it more vividly than I would. But, my sentiments echo hers. I’m also a big Seth Godin fan, and I also had a slap-forehead-of-course-it-works-that-way moment when I read the original post several days ago.

    It mystifies me that so many companies (including credit unions and banks from sea to shining sea) still fail to understand that being satisfied with “good enough” is a direct path to irrelevance and failure.

  3. @Seth – Thanks – I’ll try to limit my quotes to once a quarter though.

    @Denise – Pier 1 is another… I loved their store and even became an employee while in college. And I saw the writing on the wall. It became mediocre – especially ignoring the online channel – you still can’t order P1 stuff online.

    @Bruce – Same here – I have to digest posts before a light bulb goes off. Google Reader’s stars save me!

  4. Thanks for your Twitter follow – I’m late to the party here, but can see I’ll be a Trey Reeme fan. Yup, someone once said ‘almost’ only counts in horse shoes. Great post, Trey…..thanks!

  5. Even later… but I can’t believe Trey can actually limit the quotes to once a quarter. . . unless he is only reading Seth’s blog once a quarter!

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