You can taste it.
Heinz ketchup has no terroir. It always tastes like everywhere and nowhere and the same. A Dijon mustard from a small producer in France, though, you can taste where it came from. Foodies seek out this distinction in handcrafted chocolate or wine or just about anything where the land and environment are thought to matter.
But we can extend the idea to you, to your work, to the thing you’re building.
Visit the City Bakery in New York. Every square inch contains the DNA of the whole place. The planking of the floor. The sound as you sit on the balcony. The parade of people coming in and out. The staff. It’s not like anyplace else. It’s not like everyplace else. It’s like the City Bakery.
Consistent doesn’t mean, “like everybody else.” Consistent in this case means, “like yourself.” If we took just one drop of your work and your reputation and the trail you leave behind, could we reconstruct the rest of it?
The pressure on each of us to fit in, to industrialize, to be more like Heinz–it’s huge. But to do so is to lose the essence of what we make.
This applies to teams and to writing. Don’t you agree?
It appeared here.