Robert Safian, editor of the excellent magazine Fast Company, writes a thought provoking introduction titled “Inspiration and Perspiration” in the latest issue. It is the background to the issue’s cover story about Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe for the February 2008 issue.
Here are some sections that struck me as I thought of about the Fedora Project:
But Rowe’s story also allows us to examine an underappreciated aspect of economic success: the genius of expertly executed craftsmanship. It is the glue that cements ideas, on one end, and hard work, on the other, to fuel productivity. Either type of asset is squandered if inappropriately deployed. Execution is the great differentiator in our global economic competition.
Then commenting on another article about architectural problems with MIT’s Stata Center, Safian notes:
…the problems more likely stem from how Gehry’s design was brought to life than from any flaws in the design itself. Even a brilliant concept may be destined for trouble if not married to brilliant execution.
And in conclusion:
How do we balance the importance of creative ideas with the imperative of erecting buildings that don’t leak or software that doesn’t crash or TV shows that actually entertain?
Is it a reach to apply this to Fedora in the sense that we may have excellent creative ideas, innovative new features, all free and open source software, and the best intentions for better community engagement? And yet if we fail to execute we fail to differentiate ourselves as a project?