Idealism and practicality need not be enemies… as long as you keep your priorities straight.
Some time ago, I swung by a bakery I used to work at to try out a new pastry and see some of my old friends. The case and display looked much the same as ever, despite the high staff turnover. I picked out the new pastry- a riff on one of their staples- and took it outside for a discreet bite. That turned out to be the best course of action since no one could then see me throw the rest in the trash and quickly chug from my water bottle. I’d never really cared for that particular pastry in the first place, but somehow it had gotten worse since I left. The pastry itself was utterly tasteless, the icing oddly chemical, and the filling boring.
A while later, I texted a friend of mine who still worked there about it and asked what had changed. “Oh, yeah… we changed the recipe because the original one wasn’t coming out right from the new machine. It kinda sucks, but at least we’re not mixing it by hand anymore.”
What about the icing? This isn’t fondant…
“Nope, it’s this new stuff made with modelling chocolate, corn syrup… I think it tastes foul, but it’s easier to work with.”
As soon as you stop caring about making good products in favor of making sellable products efficiently, you’ve made a classic “deal with the devil”- and it won’t always end well.Continue reading