From Seth Godin’s latest book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?:
The Internet has raised the bar because it’s so easy for word to spread about great stuff. There’s more junk than ever before, more lousy writing, more pointless products. But this abundance of trash is overwhelmed by the market’s ability to distribute news about the great stuff.
Of course, mediocrity isn’t going to go away. Yesterday’s remarkable is today’s really good and tomorrow’s mediocre.
Mediocre is merely a failed attempt to be really good.
Note: Godin isn’t using “really good” in a positive sense in that last line. His point is: don’t go for really good. Go for remarkable.
And so the problem in being mediocre is not that you failed at being really good. It’s that you were aiming at being really good in the first place, instead of aiming at being remarkable.
(Side note: remarkable doesn’t necessarily mean flawless. It means “worth remarking on.” So doing something remarkable is not necessarily to be confused with a perfectionistic quest.)