Good, Fast, and Cheap

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You can’t have it good, fast, and cheap in the world of product development.

If you pick fast, as in fast-track development or fast-to-market, then it will cost you. That cost may come in the form of increased development money or it may cost you even more in errors, oversights, missed target ship dates, etc. Fast can be catastrophically costly. We know this from painful experience.

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If you pick good, as in high-quality or precision, then you can do fast or you can do cheap, but not both. There are always tradeoffs. No doubt this applies to other aspects of life as well, but that is a topic for another time, and further consideration. Good enough is good enough.


‘Good enough’ is a very important concept in bringing a product to market because anything can be made better, more durable, aesthetically more pleasing, with more features – but all at a cost in time to market, investment, and ultimately retail price. 

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There is a point at which a product is good enough to bring to market for the target audience.

As inventors and developers we often struggle with knowing when a prototype is ‘good enough’. And I'm not talking about 'good enough' as in, "Screw it, I am tired-of-working-on-it,” but rather, "We have hit the sweet spot of enough features, acceptable cost, sufficiently developed play pattern, good play value, and proper timing within our client's development cycle."

Good enough is that stage of development where this prototype/product concept is just right and ready to be presented and evaluated by the companies we work with. It is not always easy to determine just when and where that is.

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Many times we do too much – more than needed – on a product that no one wants for what, later, are obvious reasons. Often we don't do enough, but here we can later go back and rework a product, as we did on a doll recently, and end up with a great product that now is good enough – and sellable at last.

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