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The battle of more vs. better


Is this scalable? Will it produce a 10x return? How many users do you have?

The world we live in today has a lot of opportunities and threats to address. It requires us to think different and big. At the speed things are moving, we must constantly reinvent ourselves to stay competitive and ahead of the curve.

But in the quest for scale, how often do we sacrifice quality? When are the times that depth of impact should matter more - at least at first - than breadth of impact. Having recently wrapped up Dan Barber's, The Third Plate, I've been left thinking about the fundamental conversations he has with local growers and food scientists.

When Barber asks about how to grow a better tasting carrot, the response is almost always, "no one has ever asked me to breed for flavor before. Its always yield and size." Bigger and more is better. While in many cases, a tomato plant full of fruit is beautiful and useful, it comes at a cost. Barber explains that when a plant has a higher yields, it spreads the same amount of nutrients across all of the fruit, with each piece receiving less. Yield and flavor after a point are disproportionately correlated.

And while it can be argued that we have a growing population that needs to be fed, it should also be noted that 40% of the food in the US is never eaten. If we worked more on growing delicious food and helping people buy and use it responsibly, would we need to grow so much? Are the cherished meals we have in restaurants and on special occasions at home within reach when we slow down and focus on quality.

Yield vs. Flavor.

I look forward to pondering the other areas in my life where we are aiming for quantity and perhaps quality would be the better indicator.

Go Forth Boldly


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