Some internet wisdom that I have been sleeping on this week is this notion of opting to build skyscrapers instead of townhouses. Skyscrapers are a metaphor for creating and sharing things that stand out and require a larger time investment. Townhouses are the lower hanging fruit that blend in with the rest of the internet and are a dime a dozen. The context in which this advice is given is specific to those looking to build a presence online.
There is plenty of evidence to support this line of thinking. Attention is disproportionately skewed in favour of great content i.e. skyscrapers. There is plenty of good content available online, and a surplus of mediocre content. If the goal is to truly stand out and to play the long game, making one great thing a year is better than 20 good things or even 100 mediocre things. Intuitively, it makes a whole lot of sense. With the scale of the internet, there is always going to be a surplus of content. Truly great things will stand the test of the time while anything less so will wither into oblivion. If that is the case, and it has proven to be for lifetime of the internet, there is very little reason to invest our time in anything that is not of quality. This is especially the case for those that don’t create for a living, which is 99.99% of the population.
I have realised the the big caveat for this piece of advice is that the goal is really tuned for building a presence online. If you don’t care about that, and that’s the vast majority of people, then create whatever you damn please. Life’s too short otherwise. That is the conclusion I came to, after going full-circle thinking I should really invest in skyscrapers.