I think it’s great that people have started to focus on taking their time rather than rushing into mass producing products that aren’t quite ready. Mudita and similar companies are definitely making more of a conscious effort.
I think slowness, or taking the time to do something right, is rightly accompanied with reasonable expectation and education. Building a deck can take a whole summer, but a few years (assuming no life-changing events) is perceived as an unnecessary delay.
In the application of tech, consumerism has caused everyone to expect things now, with updates every year. A reasonable person can expect a company that is not Apple/Google/Samsung/LG and has <1000 employees to take longer getting something to production.
Things that help alleviate the perception of slowness is education: why is it taking longer, what step is the project at, what is a realistic expected date (not an optimistic one)? Mudita is doing a good job in this department: educating on the process that goes into making a crowd-funded phone instead of simply informing dates and changes.
If a project is delayed (e.g. a deck), and there’s no explanation given, “slowness” can be perceived as laziness/time mis-management, rather than attention to detail or quality.
Delaying the Pure’s launch, and giving good reasons for it, gives the perception of quality. That said, many other projects have experienced multiple delays over months or years. While initially it can give the appearance of “measure twice, cut once”, it can become a case of poor understanding of time management or product development and cause many to lose trust. This has been the case with even larger companies who did not educate reasons behind delays and who were unreasonably optimistic about their new projected dates. In those cases, “slowness” is not perceived as taking their time, but rather just plain slow. But I digress…
You took the words right out of my mouth.
While I was bummed I couldn’t have my Mudita Pure in May, I’m stoked about the care & consideration put into this Premium Product.
Very excited and anxiously awaiting it!
DISCLAIMER: I’m french and my English is sometimes not correct. I hope you understand the entirety of what is written just below. ^^
Slowness isn’t really being slow. Even if it’s related to this adjective (or the contrary whatever ahah), for me slowness is “taking the time for what needs it”. Nowadays, people want everything quickly, and if this is not possible naturally, they force it to go faster.
However, life is terribly well balanced. Everything is based on something happening at the right place at the right moment. It’s even the case in many fields like finance, computer science, politics, social interactions, etc… You may have examples popping up in your mind so I won’t stop on examples.
Then I could say that Slowness, in this society obsessed with speed and the highest performances in general is actually the normal way of behaving, without forcing nature to be out of its initial tempo.
On the contrary, I didn’t say that nature can’t adapt. It can actually adapt pretty well to change. But it can’t change too fast. I think that the society wants to evolve faster than nature, and this is not a sustainable development. Indeed, nature knows it’s own tempo. When you’re running, you feel tired at some point, for some reason (strange isn’t it?) and you stop running, eventually. This metaphor applies to what we build, and how we live. When we are working too much, the burnout is knocking at our door. In order to live a better life, and to live in a better place (poor Earth…) people need to understand that tempo, and stick to it.
Last words of this long answer:
Slowness is called slowness because we are running our lives too fast.
Don’t worry about your language skills, this is a space which is free of judgement! Thank you for your insightful and detailed response to the concept of slowness, it was an absolute pleasure to read it. You’re so right that taking time or perhaps even making time for the things and people that need it, is so important.
Society as a whole was focused on speed and high performance but I feel as though now after this lockdown, people will realise that a slower way of life might actually be more beneficial and that what was once considered normal, should become normal once again.
Leaving work at the office and making time for other things at home means we can spend more time being mindful, in the garden or with the people we love. This balance and harmony is certainly something we consider at Mudita.
Hopefully one day, everyone will live more sustainably, showing the same kindness for nature and others as we would like for ourselves.
If a project is delayed and there’s no explanation given, “slowness” can be perceived as laziness/time mis-management, rather than attention to detail or quality.
Wow. Yes. This is insightful… you know, I think this is something that we would all benefit to learn. In my own line of work, sometimes there are delays or miscalculations of time, and that is often met with criticism, anxiousness, or stress from the client. As a creative, I often absorb those attitudes and think I’m at fault and need to do things according to their wishes at the expense of quality, which cuts me off from seeing it as an opportunity to explain how my ‘slowness’ is an expression of care and quality, and legitimize my internal values. as a human being.
In work, I feel there is a sense of devotion and service to the client, to society, to work with love and originality and a personal artisanship. But when society does not recognize or value that due to a money-driven, capitalistic mindset, it can leave those of us who value slowness and work as an devotional practice feeling like there’s something wrong with us, or it may tempt us to promise to work under unrealistic deadlines which are deeply out of line with our own own values, goals and the natural rhythm of a joyous workflow, which make work a stressful, painful experience. Whereas, in contrast, work done with slowness and attention to craft, which is not rushed or demanded on aggressive timetables, inspires and motivates me and lights me up!
Thank you for sharing this. I think this is something I will think about long after typing up this post!