Optimizing for cost - "the restaurant makes the menu longer instead of figuring out how to make even one dish worth traveling across town for." 

vs.

Optimizing for excellence - "From caring enough to leap, to bleed for the art, to go out on the ledge, where it's dangerous. When we care enough, we raise the bar, not just for ourselves, but for our customer, our audience and our partners."

Award winning library photograph

As an architectural photographer I feel it is better to optimize for excellence. Excellence wins awards, gets the bigger, better more interesting assignments and the bigger paycheck. In architectural photography (any creative discipline really) there are no awards for cutting costs or coming in under budget unless you consider having your budget cut even more next time to be an award.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/03/not-even-one-note.html

Not even one note

Starting at the age of nine, I played the clarinet for eight years.

Actually, that's not true. I took clarinet lessons for eight years when I was a kid, but I'm not sure I ever actually played it.

Eventually, I heard a symphony orchestra member play a clarinet solo. It began with a sustained middle C, and I am 100% certain that never once did I play a note that sounded even close to the way his sounded.

And yet...