Craft and Care

Allen Pike on "Giving a shit":

Afterward, sitting at this delightful table, I reflected on why it came together so well. Getting something custom-built can often be the path of frustration and expensive surprises, yet our experience was a delight. Was it because the furniture makers were experts? No. Was it because they charged a lot of money? No.

It was because they gave a shit.

Yes. A couple of my own observations on this:

  1. Care compounds: If you show to the world that you care about what you are doing (above and beyond the average and what is required), above-the-average people are attracted to you. "Game recognizes game", as they say. I can't begin to explain why or even how to objectively define what this looks like when done right, but one way you can know is if people who care as much as you do contact you, or at least reply to your emails.

  2. Care is a feature: Often times, spectators want to sum up what differentiates one piece of software from another by a brilliant innovation, strategic tactic or some hard-to-copy moat. Sometimes those are the reasons one company wins over another. But just caring more than anyone else about all the "details" (clicks, legibility, hierarchy, jank, complexity, latency etc..) of an experience is another kind of differentitor that's much more subtle; often invisible, if done well. Some software creates lasting and outsized value by doing exactly what users expect, but with an unexpected level of care. For example: Craft, Things, Stripe, Linear and Notion are a few that come to mind.