The above quote adorns the entryway of a Design Within Reach store in a neighborhood I frequent. Who is this Sebastian J. Barbarito? A Google search turns up only a few instances of the same quote. There is no other trace of this person.
Seeing this, I thought of a remark attributed to the architect Mies van der Rohe: “God is in the details.” The Barbarito quote could be Mies re-processed by a management consultant.
Note that the Barbarito can, strictly speaking, be read two ways. It might mean that attention to detail is a path to mediocrity! And that’s even true: people often miss the big picture.
Also note, in the picture above, that “Sebastian” is misspelled. So Mies was right—the God of Laughter stopped by.