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12 May 2009

Wabi sabi

As I learn more about products, projects and management culture continues to reinforce it's place as the nexus of where things go right and wrong.

In an essay by Scott Berkun (Why Ugly Teams Win) I learn about the phrase Wabi-sabi.  A commenter on the post objects to Scott's definition of the term so I research further (starting here and then here.)

Wabi sabi...

Beautiful, but not perfect?  Or perfect because it's not perfectly beautiful?  A realisation that things change, they age, the evolve, and that something that is perfect today cannot be perfect tommorrow.

It's a different mindset from the one that usually surrounds me at work; "Strive for perfection at all costs.  We only have one shot at this."

Read up on wabi sabi, compare it to the philosophy where you work, and think about what it means for your product or project.