Productive mediocrity vs. Uncontrollable genius

Productive mediocrity requires discipline of an ordinary kind. It is safe and threatens no one. Nothing will be changed by mediocrity; mediocrity is completely predictable. It doesn't make the powerful and self-satisfied feel insecure. It doesn't require freedom, because it doesn't do anything unexpected. Mediocrity is the opposite of what we call "genius." Mediocrity gets perfectly mundane things done on time. But genius is uncontrolled and uncontrollable. You cannot produce a work of genius according to a schedule or an outline. As Leonardo knew, it happens through random insights resulting from unforeseen combinations. Genius is inherently outside the realm of known disciplines and linear career paths. Mediocrity does exactly what it's told, like the docile factory workers envisioned by Frederick Winslow Taylor

Funny that I should happen upon this article just as I am pondering the nature of genius / extreme productivity.

As Leonardo da Vinci discovered, extreme productivity cannot be bottled by the mundane routines of daily life.

Facebook Connect / Facebook API's are a total mess. Some tough love by the blogosphere.

Facebook has a rep for attracting good talent, and their products are really, really popular, and yet, from my perspective, whether it's missing, disorganized, or just broken, Facebook's work (not just Facebook Connect) is consummately subpar.

The Facebook API and Facebook Connect continue to have tremendous potential. And the teams behind them are still pushing out some pretty great stuff regularly.

But as the angry blogger above complains, the Facebook API teams need a thorough attitude adjustment to start acting like hungry startup guys again. Maybe there needs to be a true crack-the-whip sort of reorg there. No new features until old bugs are fixed. Each developer does support on their own features, and bugs on those features must be at ZERO before they are allowed to check in. At Microsoft, we called this bug jail.

Also, if the developer who created the feature has to support it day-to-day, you get a bunch of positive behavior where the creator will optimize for ease of use and ease of documentation, which is super advantageous if you're making an API for mass consumption.

I hate to rail on a free service, but as the blogger above mentions -- tough love is better than coddling.

Please don't coddle us -- tell us what you hate about Posterous and we'll fix it. How do we know if it's broken if you don't let us know? =)