Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Drinking Tocqueville's Coffee

Alexis de Tocqueville is a political philosopher who predicted the absolute dominance of mediocrity in America. In his book Democracy in America he makes the point that Americans don't like to stand out, be different, or live on the edges of normalcy.

In a democracy the great masses determine "the good." As a result, the good is determined by the great mass of people in the middle. Good enough is good. Why be great when you've got good?

So I'm at the airport and I grab a cup of coffee that gurgles out of a dispenser and a croissant wrapped in plastic. Both are fine.


Good. Not great.

A stranger comments to me that "Burger King does the same thing with their coffee. It sells enough that they have no reason to change."

Right on. Mass produced, "good enough" and it appeals to the great masses.

This is very much in line with Jim Collins' Good To Great analysis. He say "Good is the enemy of great."

I hope my business can strive to be just a notch or two above good. Maybe someday we'll be great. Cuz you've heard it before: Good Enough Isn't.

[ /random thoughts]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feedback Welcome

Please note, however, that spam will be deleted, as will abusive posts.

Disagreements welcome!