I remember ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ whenever the topic of quality comes up. It is an intriguing book, flowing like a leisurely motorcycle journey would- with no clear end destination, but pleasurable nonetheless. The definition of quality was debated to no end in the book. And it is certainly something worth thinking about- because it is so relative. I think quality boils down to personal standards. What one sees as quality work by their standards might seem like a shoddy job to another.
With setting standards, it is important to keep in mind exceptions. Setting the bar so high that exceptions become the norm totally takes away from the legitimacy of your standards. It has to be just right- like a good video game. If it is too easy, it is no fun. If it is too hard, it is no fun either. It has to be in that sweet spot where you can hit those standards consistently, but still be on your toes to avoid the exceptions.