Impefection is the key ingredient to success

Impefection is the key ingredient to success

Boris is the wise ol’ CEO of TNW who writes a weekly column on everything about being an entrepreneur — from managing stress to embracing awkwardness. You can also get his musings straight to your inbox by signing up for his newsletter!

We like things to be perfect, but not too perfect. Too polished seems unnatural. If things are achieved effortlessly, we’re less impressed. A result that comes from a struggle is more rewarding than if it just lands in your lap.

I went to the ballet on Saturday and watched a group of young dancers perform. Somehow, knowing they were inexperienced — and probably more nervous — made the whole thing more enjoyable. I felt more involved and more connected to those young people struggling on stage.

Now, I’m not a dancer, but I like to cook. I know that people will appreciate my food more if they see I’ve put a lot of effort into it. I need to show I’m in control, but they also like to see me sweat. The effort needs to be visible. It’s human.

When I saw the first computer-generated images they always seemed fake. The images were too perfect. It wasn’t until digital artists started adding lens flares, a clear mistake or bug in a ‘real’ photo, that the images started to look real. It was the imperfection taht made it perfect. I once heard a story that Prince would program his synthesizer to be slightly off tempo, or change almost imperceptibly over time — all to make his music more appealing.

It seems we need to see the effort, and some form of imperfection, to really appreciate things.

Which is why I left at least one spelling error in my story.

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