15 February 2010

Better Than Nothing

In an admirable desire to pursue excellence, system designers and project leaders sometimes end up pursuing "perfection." And by "perfection" they don't mean a system that is available when it's needed and effective when it's used, much less a modestly-effective system that's simply "better than nothing." Instead, perfection is defined solely in technical terms rather than operational terms (or worse yet - technical terms disguised as operational).

Thus, we end up with the dilemma of the oversold consumer, whose computer / camera / kitchen device - when it finally makes it to market - has far more features than they ever needed & costs more than it needed to. The fact that people buy such devices is somewhat of an excuse, but not really.

Because sometimes, when you're buried under more than two feet of snow, when your shovel has been shattered after a week of constant use, and when the delivery trucks haven't been able to keep the hardware stores stocked with shovels, a piece of plywood screwed onto a 2x2 really is "better than nothing."

And at $4, it's a bargain.

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