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Nate Wienert

Developer, Designer. Creator of 2u.fm, GameGum & obtvse.

Ira Glass on Taste

Caught this gem in the comments on Hacker News article on taste:

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work…

Very much true and something something I still work on. In Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson constantly writes about Jobs’ inability to furnish his homes. His perfectionism prevented him from deciding on a piece of art or furniture he felt was worthwhile. While furniture at home may not be very important, in the professional world “too much taste” is often the huge barrier to creatives’ productivity. Successful artists are ones who overcome the need for absolute perfection.