Degrees of Perfection

Roy Everitt on marketingWe were catching up with the latest Dr Who last night – a brilliant episode in my opinion. In it, the Doctor is wondering out loud about the possibility of creatures that have evolved the ability to hide perfectly. Not just camouflage, but actual invisibility.

How can we be sure they don’t exist? Answer: we can’t.

He gave a couple of other examples of evolution producing perfection, too: a perfect hunter – in this case a big cat – and a perfect defence, which was a kind of spiny puffer fish.

Now, both of these are amazing creatures but neither of them is perfect.

A perfect hunter would never fail. Big cats fail a lot. They succeed often enough, until they get too old or toothless, but they do fail a lot all through their hunting careers.

And I’m willing to bet some of those fish get eaten, or at least mortally injured. They survive long enough, on average, to reproduce, but that’s all. But then, that’s all they have to do. As with the big cats, good enough is good enough.

Some failures, some successes. They each inhabit a competitive world.

Remind you of anything?

All life is like that. All business is like that. You’ll make mistakes and you won’t live forever, but in the time you have, you only have to succeed enough to outweigh your failures. And a few big successes can outweigh a million tiny disappointments.

That’s why (and how) we keep going.


PS. I’ve had a few failures recently, and some successes, but yesterday, out of the blue, came a very nice success indeed. All the work I put into my flat pack business in Suffolk came to fruition when I sold the business.

Of course, it earned me money while I owned it, but this sale will earn me more. It will make the new owner money, too, of course, and he’s very happy.

For me, letting go of that so I don’t have to do any work in that business from now on is a bonus.

Overall, I’m well ahead, but I don’t say this to boast, even though I am feeling quite pleased with myself. My point is the lessons we can learn.

As someone once said, “Failure is temporary. Quitting is forever”.

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