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Quality is not a given

In just about all of my writing, I assume that the stuff you’re making is world class. In a world where everything is good enough, meeting that standard isn’t enough.

But it’s worth a reminder every once in a while that getting the quality right still matters. I went to buy the much hyped (1 million bucks worth ) Gourmet Magazine cookbook: Amazon.com: Books: The Gourmet Cookbook : More than 1000 recipes, only to discover that every single reviewer hated the fact that they couldn’t read it.

How did that happen? In a conservative industry known for not screwing up the hard stuff (no typos, page numbers in order, stuff like that), how did a book this important to the bottom line end up with yellow headlines?

[added two days later: my apologies to Ruth Reichl. I just bought the book at Borders. Hey, it’s not so bad. A reasonable person might even like it. I got fooled by the Amazon reviews. I guess retail stores still have a purpose.]

The edge beyond Geranimals

Mismatch
I love this.

The web site (LIttleMissMatched) is totally lame, but the idea goes straight to the edge.

Mismatched socks for 11 year old girls. Hundreds of varieties. Four categories so you don’t clash. Only sold in odd lots.

Think about how easy this was to do, and how remarkable it is. Think about how many sock marketers thought of this and then got scared and didn’t. Realize how turning socks into a remarkable collectible is both obvious and satisfying and likely to succeed.

I wish they came in my size.

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