Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gate Keeper

I have long had a sense that the collaborative process can go very well, or very wrong. I have witnessed a group being led, not by the brightest person, but by the loudest. In my experience, the loudest is usually not the brightest, far from it. I think this behaviour stems from the general rule: when traveling abroad in a country where you do not speak the native tongue, the best way to make yourself understood is to yell louder.

This describes one pitfall for the collaborative process, but there is another for which I have always wanted to express more intelligently then simply saying, "well, the head guy just doesn't get it." That always seemed unsatisfactory to me, because it sounds like whining and a cop-out.

Today I watched a video of a speech John Gruber gave at MacWorld. In it, he nailed the idea that has been floating in my head, he put it in a way that is much more clinical, almost a formula, "The quality of any collaborative creative endeavor tends to approach the level of taste of whoever is in charge."

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