Here’s something that a lot of companies, creative projects, and people miss: the smallest details are the most important.
One error in grammar can shut down the best written argument. One missing line of code can create a security nightmare. One mixup in color, labelling, or font can make a brand look childish. One stupid act can destroy a reputation built over years.
You get the idea.
The first 99% of what you make is necessary but not sufficient. When it comes to actually bringing an idea, project, or product into the world, the sufficient matters most.
That sufficient factor is extreme attention to detail.
This is not because little details contribute the most to the product. It’s not because every project needs to be crafted by artisans. Little details matter because they are the things on which an astonishing number of products and projects compromise at some point in their lifetimes.
Quality in anything you do is asymmetric. What this means is that an additional five hours spent building something has far less effect than one case of forgetting to correct an error in it.
As a result, how you, your project, or your company behave on that 1% margin is the most important and real part of the experiences you are trying to create. Humans are fine tuned to notice flaws, and they do notice when things or people fail – constantly. Fortunately, humans are often just as willing to notice the “little big details” that make things different, functional, and beautiful.
There are echo chambers in many projects that will tell you that your 99% effort is enough. There are plenty of people who may shame you as “perfectionist” if you really do care about the little things. Don’t listen to that echo chamber, and don’t listen to them. Here’s your license to obsess over quality and obsess over details in your work – the companies that we all love do.