How painful it is to tolerate something boils down to how deeply we care.

  1. When a product demo fails, do we hurt deep inside that we resolve to never have a demo go bad again or do we smile and blame it on the demo gods?
  2. When an ops error takes our site down for 30 minutes, does it hurt us deep inside that we missed being five nines or do we still claim a victory stating we are four nines and the competition is not?
  3. When a feature we promised to our customer slips, do we stack hands across our teams and do what it takes to get it done or do we point out the unreasonable promises that everyone around is making?
  4. When a P0 bug pops up costing our customers revenue, does it hurt us deeply to fix our inadequate tests or do we just treat is as a common thing in the life of an engineer and joke about another late nighter?
  5. When somebody points out that our product is complicated to use, does it hurt us deeply enough to fix our user experience or do we treat that user as those 10% who won't be happy with anything.

Who are we? What choices do we make? These choices are the difference between building a great product and being happy with a mediocre one. Great products and companies get made when we get really hurt by mediocrity.

So, what choices do we make?