When good enough is not good at all

Last week I checked into a hotel and found this assortment of shampoos, conditioners and shower gels waiting for me in the bathroom:

They were products from a company called Lather. And while I rather enjoyed the rosemary and mint scent of their shampoo, I was completely underwhelmed by their branding.

They're colored squares. Each unique product gets its own color. That's it. That's their packaging.

You can say I'm being harsh picking on a small shower gel company. That I shouldn't be thinking about brands and advertising while I'm on vacation. But I think Lather's packaging is a great example of a pseudoidea: something that looks like an idea, and feels like an idea, but is really just a hollow shell masquerading as an idea.

And we're all subject to this. We come up with a simple idea - usually the first idea - see how easily it works and fall in love with it. What's not to love about brightly colored squares? And that simplicity, the ease with which we solved the problem, the fact that we no longer have pressure to deliver anything gives us permission to stop pushing. To stop peeling back layers. To stop looking at the problem from as many possible angles.

Good enough will get you a portfolio, but not necessarily a killer job.

Good enough will get you a salary, but it won't make you indispensable.

Good enough will get your work produced, but not celebrated.

Good enough will relieve some of the pressure, but it's not insurance against regret.