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Design perfection as weakness

10 July 2022

[Gennaro from the Lisbon Kitchen House, meticulously reviewing my custom bike]

What do you remember about your early years as a designer?

If you had met me at the beginning of my career, I would have described my strength as 'being a perfectionist, along with many other useless words that I avoid.

Am I still a perfectionist? It is indeed a strength.

With years and projects and PRDs and features and metrics passed, perfection is the thing that has made me weakest over the years. But not the idea of achieving anything, at least the self-protection related to perfection.

Nothing came out that wasn't my (by my ugly metrics). The 'wow'. The 'most interesting.

The perfectionism of the time, I realised, was acerbic and current, striving for excellence.

What is the difference?

Perfectionism is not growth; it is a defensive manoeuvre.

Perfectionism is not even self-improvement; it is simply having approval and being recognised as the best.

"I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it". No.

I hope I have made my point. Don't get overwhelmed by this self-destructive mechanism. You must be proud of your mess; you're being wrong and not knowing things.

You must keep quiet when you don't know something and keep quiet if you think you know it. And even if you know it, keep quiet if you are not asked.

It all sounds easy; what's the point?

Perfectionism is addictive, like NY, if I may say so. Everything it offers is simultaneously demanding if you are caught up in the tax-life-work-more-work-more vortex. Learn to ask yourself questions about the logic of this addiction and the alternatives that (fortunately for me, I have had the chance to discover by travelling and living outside) exist.

If it's a shame you're afraid, I understand. "I'm feeling this way because I'm not good enough, and I want to be the best like no one".

Having seen so many of them, of wrong expectations at work, from erroneous pixels to missed expectations, familiarise yourself with vulnerability and don't look for gratifications that make you appreciate yourself.

My childhood was unique, and I think I experienced a bit of the golden child syndrome, but detaching myself from perfectionism saved my life.

The uncompromising, the striving for excellence, and achieving goals with a lot of consistency and hard work are your satisfactions that make you a master of the craft and general communication of performing and pursuing your value of honesty.

What's your perfectionism?


how you do anything is how you do everything