The Pottery Parable

Beginners improve faster by focusing on quantity, not quality.

This sounds counterintuitve. If we take our time and focus on creating something great shouldn't the results be better than if we focused on quantity? Maybe not.

The Pottery Parable

"There was once a pottery teacher called Brian. One month, he decided to split his class into two groups. Group A had to make a pot every day for 30 days (so 30 pots in total). Group B had to work on a single pot for the whole 30 days.
At the end of the month, Brian judged the quality of the pots. Without exception, every one of the top 10 pots came from Group A, the guys that made one pot per day. None came from the group that focused on perfecting their single pot" - Ali Abdaal

If you want to get better at podcasting, then publish 100 episodes rather than trying to make the first one perfect.

By forcing yourself to 'finish' faster you shorten the feedback loop.

Applying the Pottery Parable to improve my writing

I've joined Ship 30 for 30 and am forcing myself to publish an essay everday for the next 30 days.

Finishing is hard! But surprisingly adding constraints helps.

My Ship 30 for 30 constraints

  • Essays are 250 words long (atomic essays)
  • I have 1 hour or less to write each essay
  • Publish before midday each day

My next challenge is to apply The Pottery Parable in other areas of my life.