A few days ago, I used a miter saw for a project around the house. Turns out, the alignment of the tool wasn’t perfect, and I didn’t notice until I had cut several boards. It wasn’t that much off—less than one degree—but after a while, those slight differences started to compound in places, and it became more apparent that something wasn’t quite right.

Calibrating the saw helped future cuts but didn’t do anything for the earlier ones. Sometimes, I had to adjust my angles to compensate for previous cuts. Or I had to redo other boards altogether. And all because I didn’t catch the slight alignment issue at the beginning. Little divergences here and there may not seem that significant. But given enough time, they have a way of adding up.