What does a cup holder and a 220-volt car charger have in common?

I have a friend who appreciates fine cars and has the money to buy whichever car he wants. I’m happy for him. Recently, he was choosing between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. He chose the Ferrari because it had a larger cup holder. Details are important.

Sometimes I listen to the CarPro guy on the radio. Every week he drives a different new car and then gives a review. Recently he drove an all-electric Honda SUV. In his review he basically said, “The vehicle is amazing. What irritated me was, it didn’t come with a 110-volt charging cord, just a 220-volt cord. I don’t have a 220 outlet in my garage so I had to find the nearest Honda dealership and buy one. Why didn’t they include a 110 cord?” He kept talking about the one irritating aspect of his experience with the Honda. Details are important. 

Everything that is made is a compilation of small details and they’re all important. Remember the Space Shuttle O-ring disaster? Details.

Some small details have an oversized influence on the final product. I’ve been on a quest to make the best carbonara  in the world. One important detail is to serve the dish in heated bowls, otherwise the egg and cheese begin to congeal. Details.

I’m not sure how someone develops an eye for details. Is it an innate gift or can it be developed through training? (I lean toward the latter.) 

Attention to details takes time but it’s time well spent. It produces a better product or service and helps eliminate costly mistakes. 

Charles Eames, famous American designer and architect, once said, “The details are not the details. They make the design.”

10 Replies to “What does a cup holder and a 220-volt car charger have in common?”

  1. Amen. This past Sunday, I attended a worship service where the service was flawless…with the exception of one thing…missed mic cues. Nearly every person who spoke or sang had a “dead mic” until 3-5 words or notes into their spoken word or song. I left frustrated rather than fulfilled. It’s all I could focus on (my problem). Cumulatively, there were many man hours spent planning, preparing and rehearsing that service. But, it failed to reach its potential because one person was ‘asleep at the wheel.’ Work hard not to be that person if it’s not your innate gift!

    1. Randy, thanks for the great illustration. So many things can be going right, but one botched detail can soil it all. I’m currently in a hotel in which there’s no good place to put the bar of soap in the shower. When placed on the flat marble shelf, it sticks and won’t come up. Ugh… Why didn’t the contractors catch that detail?
      Thanks for our friendship.

  2. Great post, Don. I believe you’re right, that attention to detail can be learned or developed – and I think the people who develop it, do so because they are good (and life-long) learners. Good learners understand nuances – and nuances are made of the details.

    1. Thanks, Mike, for taking the time to respond and share your thoughts. I think most important life skills can be learned and developed, including attention to detail. I like your tie in to life-long learning and the concept of nuance. Thanks for our friendship. Don

  3. Hi Don,
    Good piece of writing and sage advice.
    I very much enjoy your newsletter.
    Keep it up my friend.
    All the best,
    Ron Jackson

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