Stop Obsessing Over Quantity

What we have here is a failure to communicate. Over the past few years we have focused so much on Quantity, that we have really lost touch with the most important modifier of all: Quality. We want our newspapers to print More news, and we want to see blogs that update us More often. We want More Twitter followers and More web traffic. Heaven forbid we ever have Less of anything.

But what’s so wrong about Less, if it increases Quality? Wouldn’t you rather have 5 followers than 5,000 if those precious few included Oprah, Kevin Rose and Perez Hilton and they loved retweeting your posts? Unfortunately, we’re so driven to increase quantity that we rarely stop to think about quality. The Velvet Underground received one of the greatest compliments a band could ever receive:
“Only five thousand people ever bought a Velvet Underground album, but every single one of them started a band”
-Brian Eno

Ultimately, The Velvet Underground ended up being inducted to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and many of their albums eventually sold very well. But if they were only judged by initial sales and popularity, we’d see an entirely different picture of Lou Reed’s experimental rock band. The same popularity vs. substance quandary debate rages on for social media influencers.

Every month I see hundreds of social media “experts” writing about how to get “More Followers”. (Techniques listed often include follow spamming and using more hashtags.) However, it’s much more rare to see posts about building quality connections and lasting relationships. You’d think the “experts” would care about such things. But apparently more is always better, and all that matters.

Take one blogger I really respect who values quality over quantity: Neil Patel may only make 2 posts a month, but they’re both of extremely high quality. I would rather read 2 of his posts a month than 30 useless posts a day. Just as I’d rather have 500 quality followers than 5,000 useless ones.

Here’s a proposal: Instead of focusing on More, let’s focus on Better. Instead of increasing Quantity, let’s worry about Quality. Just imagine what we could achieve.