History can make people great, but most people are great in spite of history. They are great not because of what they are able to outwardly project about themselves, but more so, they are great because they don’t need to project anything at all. They show nothing more than what is. And with that, their presence and their shadow sing louder than the words they speak.
… like this, we generally have a hard time pinpointing exactly what it is that makes them different. We sense that something is indeed different because the emotions they evoke in us tell us so but rarely are we able to fully verbalize what exactly that “something” is. All we are left with is an intuition that there is more here — in this space in front of us — than is visible to the naked eye.
The same can be said about people: Those who are truly great don’t fit definitions and categorizations of what it means to be great; rather, they are great by virtue of the feelings they evoke in other people. They are skilled, and they know who they are, and what they are capable of, and that can be picked …
The lesson is that when you compare centralized and decentralized systems you need to consider them dynamically, as processes, instead of statically, as rigid products. Centralized systems often start out fully baked, but only get better at the rate at which employees at the sponsoring company improve them. Decentralized systems start out half-baked but, under the right conditions, grow exponentially as they attract new contributors.