Building the tallest building is a matter of ego. Machismo drives a lot of design and innovation, as it does leadership.
But there’s always going to be a taller building, just as there’s still going to be the next innovative car or gadget.
Things can only stand out for so long before something else surpasses them, or they become normalized, like a commodity that everyone else can own (see the ownership of mirrors).
There are also more people in the world that own smartphones than toothbrushes.
When size and novelty fall aside, people only remember what’s unique. That’s why, no matter what size a book or painting or any design for that matter is, it’s about the content and its context.
It’s the story that matters more than (temporarily) standing out.