Nobody’s perfect, not even a perfect stranger

“Nobody’s perfect, not even a perfect stranger”

My favorite song by The Pretenders played on my music shuffle yesterday during my walk.  “Time the Avenger” has several memorable lines in it, including the opening line noted above.  I’m not sure if it’s irony, humor, a play on words, or how to describe it.  That line is, well, perfect.  We can’t be perfect, and I’m not sure why any of us strives for perfection.

Do you really want your children to be perfect?  I want mine to be good people who care about their families, who treat people decently, and they’re successful enough to support me in retirement.

When companies strive for perfection, they are bound for failure, or at least disappointment.

It’s not the 100/0 rule.  It’s the 80/20 rule.  At some point, achieving ‘good enough’ is good enough.  Get to that point, get something into production or a product out the door, and then look at further incremental improvements that meet your customers’ requirements.

Crawl, walk, run.  Aim, fire, ready.  Both of these expressions capture the essence and endorsement of imperfection.

Even the iPod wasn’t perfect after its introduction.  From Lifewire, “It didn’t have the most storage or the most features, but what it did have was a dead-simple user interface, terrific industrial design, and the simplicity and polish that have come to define Apple products.”

For some, that may have been their notion of perfection. Sounds more like ‘good enough’ to me.

Innovation can be incremental.

Strategic shifts can occur over time. Don’t get it wrong, and never assume it will be perfect.  Measure your successes and failures, ask questions about both, and maintain focus on your goals and your customers.

Time for one more vodka and lime.

Photo by Beck Gusler under Creative Commons license


Discussion (comment below):

  1. What song lyric is perfect?
  2. How do you keep from focusing on perfection?



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2 responses to “Nobody’s perfect, not even a perfect stranger”

  1. steve baturin Avatar
    steve baturin

    I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s
    And his hair was perfect
    Werewolves Of London, Warren Zevon

    Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien (the perfect is the enemy of the good) – Dictionnaire Philosophique, Voltaire

  2. Harold Waisel Avatar

    Thank you for the translation. I certainly can’t argue with Voltaire.
    Warren Zevon – one of those stars who died way too young. Great song.

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