"Lots of things are like that. They're not complicated. They don't require brilliant, innovative strategies, they're just hard. They require more work and more effort and than anyone might reasonably expect. The best managers create organisational room for that to happen."
"All that effort, all that ingenuity, all that inspiration, all those years perfecting one’s craft, all those long hours, all that Powerpoint, all those conference calls, all that feedback, all those brilliant rationales, all those missed school plays and cancelled dates, all those postponed vacations, all those lovers never loved, all those bedtime stories never told, all those plans postponed, all those dreams on hold, all those promises broken, all those interests never pursued… To produce crap?"
“The Big Fear,” Jacobson writes, “is that times will get so hard that you’ll have to drive five or six nights a week instead of three. The Big Fear is that your play, the one that’s only one draft away from a possible showcase, will stay in your drawer. The Big Fear is thinking about all the poor stiff civil servants who have been sorting letters at the post office ever since the last Depression and all the great plays they could have produced. The Big Fear is that, after 20 years of schooling, they’ll put you on the day shift. The Big Fear is you’re becoming a cabdriver.”
"Baum believed that a window should "arouse in the observer cupidity and the longing to possess the goods". Before him, and the set-pieces he photographed for his magazine, most shopkeepers regarded their windows as simply places to cram with as much merchandise as possible. Baum, though—having lived, and performed on stage, by candle, oil lamp and gas jet—gloried in the potential of electric light, installed in many store windows after the high-voltage World’s Fair of 1893. And he understood that, in this new world of material plenty, goods alone had lost their primary appeal. A better idea would be to sell a powerfully lit, yet edited fantasy, every article of merchandise auditioned and few chosen—except at Christmas, when too much was never enough."
For Seinfeld, whose worth Forbes estimated in 2010 to be $800 million, his touring regimen is a function not of financial necessity but rather of borderline monomania — a creative itch he can’t scratch. “I like money,” he says, “but it’s never been about the money.” Seinfeld will nurse a single joke for years, amending, abridging and reworking it incrementally, to get the thing just so. “It’s similar to calligraphy or samurai,” he says. “I want to make cricket cages. You know those Japanese cricket cages? Tiny, with the doors? That’s it for me: solitude and precision, refining a tiny thing for the sake of it.”