Quantity over Quality

Design better by designing more, lots more.
Eric Goodwin

Quantity over quality is the antithesis of what I believe in, and hopefully what you believe in as well. I think it is so much better for ourselves and our planet to have fewer items that last longer, and are more cherished, than multiple mediocre items that all eventually end up in the landfill. So if I believe in quality over quantity, what am I doing talking about quantity over quality? Well, even though I believe wholeheartedly in quality, there is one very important exception:


Especially when you are starting on a new project or discipline, in any realm of design, from writing, to photography, to sewing, to cooking, on and on. You need practice, tons of practice, and you can’t be deterred by poor quality. You need to focus on quantity.

The photo to the right is an example of some sketches I made before designing and building a folding chair. I made 61 sketches, and 5 full 3D renderings before I ever cut a piece of wood. With all that work, did the chair turn out perfectly? No of course not! It was my first attempt at a folding chair! It turned out pretty well, it looks pretty good and it does indeed fold and support a human, but I could never expect to make something amazing on my first try. My guess is I would probably have to make 4 or 5 more chairs before they start to get really nice.

I think this is what deters and discourages most people, especially when starting new creative fields. We’re surrounded by social media and ads showing us perfectly crafted items, and when we attempt a similar project it doesn’t turn out nearly as well. The problem is that most of the time no one really shows the prototypes, or all the failed attempts before finally finishing one worthy of photos. Trust me though, if you see anything that looks beautiful and well made, it’s only the final version in a long line of prototypes and failed attempts.

So when it comes to designing and crafting new items, flip the saying, and focus on quantity. Get your practice in, attempt it again and again, and each time it will get better. In the end, you’ll post something that will make someone ask ‘how did you make that!?’ and you’ll be able to share your secret:

Quantity over Quality