Beware the Lollipop of Mediocrity

I’ve been thinking a lot about mediocrity lately. I read Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, where he says that having a remarkable product is a shortcut to success.

Well, I think that’s understating it. I think the ONLY way to success is to have a remarkable product.

Especially these days, and in our industry, where there is so much competition. A time where computers and software are accessible to anybody, whether a 14 year old playing with special effects or a motion graphics legend. The amount of technology at our fingertips for such a low price means that all of a sudden just knowing the trade is not good enough.

What matters is that you say NO to mediocrity and NO to doing the same thing you did on the last video, regardless of when the deadline is. What matters is that you keep learning, trying new things, and keep pushing yourself to the bleeding edge.

Seriously, guys, I’ve seen a lot of people in a lot of jobs, and you can always tell who will succeed. There is one type of person who looks at a job in front of them and immediately says, “I cannot make this remarkable because…” Fill in the blank. Because the client is boring, because the client wants the same old thing, because the content of the video sucks, because the quality of the footage given to us is SD. You name it, I’ve heard it.

The point is this, you HAVE to look at every project you take on, and decide not to make ANY excuses. Not a single one. Period. Every video should be a chance to try something new, to make an amazing product, to step out on a limb and WOW the client. You can do it, you just have to suck it up, stop making excuses, and GET IT DONE.

I hope you guys know that this is the only way you will succeed. Light that fire under you and get to work! Be remarkable.

‎”Beware the lollipop of mediocrity. Lick it once and you suck
forever.” –Peter Skillman

3 Responses
  1. I completely agree… and to go one step futher, you have to never let your employers, under ANY circumstances, convince you that “quick and dirty” are acceptable. There’s always a deadline, some tighter than others, and the challenge should be how to make as grand of an ideas as you can within the constraints. (A six month project can be just as poorly executed as a six day project). To me this surrounds taking pride in your work.

  2. I totally agree David! Pride in your work, in all the little details, is what differentiates between successful designers and ones who won’t survive in the industry. I feel like leadership is very important, and not leading other people, learning how to lead yourself. Not waiting for other people to tell you what to do and how to do it, but saying, “I’m going to take it on myself to make this project awesome, period, even if it will take more mental energy.”

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