By Jim McCarthy Oct 28, 2010 0 comments

Are You Waiting for the Great Pumpkin?

A year ago, I wrote a post called “Awaiting the Great Pumpkin, er, Great Performance.” It’s interesting for two reasons: first, because lots and LOTS of people had been reading it lately and I couldn’t figure out why.  It was then I realized that as the Halloween season approached, people were searching on the term “Great Pumpkin” and finding this crazy little piece about comments on a Washington Post article about symphonies.  I bet they were disappointed.

But it’s also remarkable because the first time around, even MORE people read it because of the actual content itself.

Here’s a snippet, and I’d invite you to check out the original:

“This is, as you might notice, an example of the Great Performance Delusion, wherein a person is convinced that each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere and give presents and candies to the good boys and girls, probably in the form of healthy annual raises, generous insurance benefits, and an ample budget for support staff.”

The Great Performance Delusion is the arts and entertainment version of the “Build a Better Mousetrap” fallacy in business.  In other words, if you think a better product always wins out, you’ve just never used Windows.  The product must be good enough at a key attribute and be in the right place for the market to make use of it.  People don’t often perfect but they almost always optimize, and if the better mousetrap or great performance are better, but not optimal, they’ll usually go with optimal.  Especially men.
And on another unrelated note, Happy Halloween.  Go trick or treating instead of hanging out in the pumpkin patch with that blockhead Linus.
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