Good Enough

The expression “good enough” begs the question, “How good is that?”  From a literal perspective, something that is good enough does not need to be any better.  For some, “good enough” might mean just squeaking by, barely sufficient to pass it off onto the intended recipient.  No one gets fired over producing something that is good enough in this sense, and the goal in life is not to get fired, right?  Of course, there’s a chance of having done too little at this end of the spectrum.

From another perspective, “good enough” is a useful way to relieve the pressure to attain perfection.  The 80/20 rule is an expression of the diminishing returns of pursuing an idealized state that requires inordinate effort to achieve.  Better to leave it alone once it is good enough, say when 80 or 90 percent of the benefits have been realized, than to spend eternity trying to make things perfect, often making them worse instead.

With software, the early stages of product creation often require the former way of thinking.  Release early and often to get the feedback that fuels the creative process.  In later stages, the latter way of thinking might be better to prevent feature bloat, to keep things stable for users, and to free up time and energy to work on new products.  Or to go to the beach.

 

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