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Posted: March 21, 2020 - and - Last updated: September 20, 2020

When you hire a plumber, you don’t rate them. First of all – you have little knowledge of plumbing (or you’d do it yourself) – and second of all – you don’t know anything about the plumber you hired.

All you need to know… is if the plumber can solve the problem..

These chart/diagram things are just first-takes

…while we figure out what works. They aren’t “the best” (yet) – but they are a lot better than none!  (and it proves our point… that “good” is still pretty good!

When you decide there is a "good"

As soon as you say “Good” – then you are implying a “Bad.” That’s the nature of “duality” or dichotomy I’m not sure what the math behind it would be… but – I think 50/50 is reasonable for this conversation.

So, as soon as you imagine that you could be “good” at something – you bring into the world that you / and other people – could be “bad” at it. 50% of them are now bad, right? (in theory)

What about right now? If you know nothing about a subject – are you “bad” at it already? That doesn’t seem right. Is everything on the way to ‘good’ or ‘great,’ bad?

Key
concept

Sturgeon's law

“ninety percent of everything is crap.”

~ Theodore Sturgeon


We’re not so sure that it’s 90%… is it? Well… MOST of the things on the internet are bad… so — maybe it is true? “Crap” is subjective, right? We don’t want to be negative! Either way – let’s move on with our investigation.

So, where is "Average?"

The equation for “average” in this case – is the total divided by the number groups… right? That will work for now. “Average” vs “Mean” – is a discussion for another time. If you have 3 types of people… and 100 people… then the math for that is 100/3 = ~33%.

So, now – you’ve got three areas…

A tendency to assume you have to be "The Best!"

A lot of people feel like they won’t ever get a job – or won’t have any value – if they aren’t in the top-tier of this graph. They think that you have to be THE BEST! They think they need to get top “engineering” jobs at Google and Facebook.

But this isn’t how it works. This chart isn’t a graph of people trying to get jobs. This is a chart of the actual workforce. This is a chart of anything you can think of really. A chart that you’ve created in your mind.

You aren't even on this chart yet.

If you are learning… then you’re not even on this chart. You don’t start out “bad” at things. You start somewhere – and then you learn things. It’s when you start building things that make money – that you might end up in this chart.

It is relative.

If you are really great at basketball, when you are in 5th grade, are you “really great at basketball?” – or just great at basketball – compared to the people playing at lunchtime at your school? It’s possible that you are the best basketball player in the county – or THE WORLD! but – you aren’t going to know until you put that in context.

When it comes to design – and programming – and all the skills that are involved in Designing things for The Web, you’re in the big game when it comes time to see how much value you can provide.

How many cars are in a standard Nascar race?

AP

43. Why? I don’t know. I don’t know anything about Nascar, but if you ask a 5-year-old – “How many people get to win?” – they’ll say “One!” – and they’ll be right. So how many of the drivers are “good?” Just the first one? Just the first, second, and third? Do you care about the 5th place driver?

What about baseball?

How many teams are there in the MLB league?

30.

And how many get to be “the best?” One team. And how many people on that team – are “The best?” Only one, I guess… – but maybe they are each the best at their thing. If I was building a baseball team, I would try to get the best coach, the best pitcher, the best catcher – and the best of everything.

If you go into heart surgery – do you think you’re going to end up with THE BEST heart surgeon? I read somewhere that there are only about 4000 Cardiothoracic surgeons in the US. So, that means that some of them – are “the worst” surgeons. They’ll likely have high standards (we hope)! But – your heart surgeon is probably just “pretty good” relatively.

You can't win

You can’t “WIN” design. You can’t win “Programming.” No one cares about how cool your ‘code’ is.

Who wins Baseball? Car companies and Beer companies. Who wins Nascar?

Stop thinking about ‘winning’ – and start playing the game.

At some point, it’s all about value. If you aren’t very fast at your job – you are providing less value. You’ll still find work, but it’ll pay less. Maybe that’s ok for you. Other people will be more average – and they’ll have an average value. Some people will be exceptional. They’ll be able to do 2x the work of an average person. That’s an oversimplification – because the exceptional person might make decisions that have long-term effects.

So, I’m certainly not saying that you should aim for “just good enough” – but I am saying / just get in there – and enjoy learning – and try your best to be the best you can be – and provide the most value. The industry is going to decide for you – just like any industry decides.

The 10-year-old playing soccer doesn’t have time to worry if they’ll be good enough to get picked to play for a national club.

Most people are average. That's why it's an average!

Some people are bad at their jobs. It’s true. But – they have jobs, right? Otherwise – there would be no servers in Los Angeles. It’s nice when people are good at their jobs! Be one of those people!

Focus on your value

Have fun. Learn things. Be honest. Work hard. Build up your value. And leave the abstract and unnecessary judgment of “good” and bad to someone else. Let the market decide. If you really do those things, you are going to be really valuable.

When people try and rush - this usually happens

They still get jobs. They are just not that high paying – and probably have less long-term stability – but you CAN still learn on the job. The people you work with will also likely be in the bottom third of the class – and might reinforce more bad habits. It’s hard to get out of this one. People usually change their marketing plan instead of upgrading their skillset. It’s not ideal – but it’s what 1/3rd of the people do.

A great outcome would be to be average!

Once you get a job or start a company – or whatever you end up doing in the world of Web Design – you’ll learn more and more about your specific interests. Hopefully, you’ll find mentors and people you work with to teach you more – and you’ll learn by teaching the people around you.

This chart is silly!!!

Instead of worrying about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – how about you just learn things well – and focus on your passion. Then, when it’s time, pick the area that interests you most! That’s where you’ll provide the most value.

Would you like to stop worrying about “good” and “bad” – and get passionate about some fun stuff instead?

We don’t need to be “the best” school there is. We just need to be the best school – for you. Let’s talk about it! We’ve got a great path for you.

Now accepting applications for our next session