I’ve been thinking about things that were ruined by doing about 5% more than was necessary, like an actor whose plastic surgery looks plastic.
Sometimes excellence requires pushing ourselves to do more than we want to do or more than we think we can do. But sometimes excellence requires restraint. Context is everything.
A few times the extra effort I’ve put into a report backfired. An illustration added to make things clearer caused confusion. (Or maybe it revealed confusion.)
I’ve made software harder to write and harder to use by having it do a little more than it should have, such as trying to fully automate something that should be 95% automated.
In the course of writing this post I’ve thought of several ways to expand it. I’ve drafted and deleted several versions of this concluding paragraph. But I’ll take my own advice and stop.