The Parable of the Pottery Class

Our Social Media Manager, Adam Powney, shares his wisdom on creating great content. 


Have you heard of The Parable of the Pottery Class? 

There was once a pottery teacher called Brian. One month, he decided to split his class into two groups. Group A had to make a pot every day for 30 days (so 30 pots in total). Group B had to work on a single pot for the whole 30 days.  

At the end of the month, Brian judged the quality of the pots. Without exception, every one of the top 10 pots came from Group A, the guys that made one pot per day. None came from the group that focused on perfecting their single pot.  


I first heard this parable from productivity guru and YouTuber, Ali Abdaal*. He was using it to demonstrate that in order to grow and perfect your YouTube channel, you need to just make content, lots of it. No matter how perfect you want it, the best way to improve is to keep creating. 

Ali refers to a TubeBuddy review that states “for channels with 1,000-10,000 subscribers, there is an average of 152 uploads.” 

This is true, right? If you want to become an incredible videographer, you need to create lots of videos. If you want to become a sought-after copywriter, you need to write lots. If you want to become an effective social media manager, you must spend your time doing lots of social media management. 

This all focuses in on a simple phrase that Ali Adbaal uses: “focus on quantity over quality.” 

This may be conflicting to you. Normally we hear “do less, but better”. But, at what stage do we start doing less but better? Well, first you need to develop your skills by creating lots of content, and once you’ve become proficient you can then start doing less but better!  

Why does this work? Simply, because practice makes perfect! (Some clichés exist for a reason.) 

When creating lots of content, you see what works and what needs to change. If you spend lots of time, energy and money on one project, you have a limited opportunity to practice. In addition, if the project flops, you’ve made an embarrassing and expensive mistake. Whereas, if you create lots of content on a smaller scale, you have many opportunities to practice and improve your craft. Then when you’re given a bigger project, you’re far more likely to be able to create that perfect pot of content. 

In conclusion, if you’re new to creating content, then just do it! Be like Group A and create, create, and create some more. You’ll soon see your skill improve and your audience grow.  


*The original source I believe is ‘Art & Fear’, by David Bayles and Ted Orland.