« On Authentic Lies | Main | Guerilla Marketing 101, part deux »


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Venture Design, part 7:


Diego -- that's a great article and an interesting post.

Some recent experience with teaching product development to the "linear business types" taught me to be careful with explaining the concept of "good enough." For example, a business analyst I spoke with pointed out we should only develop a product far enough to exceed customer expections; anything further is wasted development money and results in lower profit margins. To him, this was "good enough" design. But this thinking can lead to, for example, series of incremental improvements and leave a company vulnerable to a competitor's breakthrough design. See the iPod, or the powered stapler vs. the Swingline.

There may be two issues at work here, both mostly ways we frame the idea of "good enough":
1. Prototyping is vital, and prototypes only need to be good enough to test a design idea
2. Product development requires an approach that integrates analytical and design thinking. The result of this process may be a "good enough" design or a breakthrough design, depending on many factors.

I'm currently working at a company that I'd say exhibits a lot of "design thinking" and is in the position to be defining some early products in a market space. But in some crucial ways, we miss the mark entirely, and I'd say it's this "good enough" attitude that exactly explains it.

I hear a lot that "good enough" means: a feature that customers are willing to make buying decisions on, refined to the point where they will accept it. That's true, in a sad sort of way. But it implies that the ongoing experience of using the product isn't important (right now), and that the everyday, merely "useful" features of the product--the nuts and bolts of using a peice of software--aren't worth the attention to even get to "good enough."

I think the worst danger of "good enough" thinking is in who owns "good enough." Is it the marketing manager who sees sales leads convert? Is it the Product manager, who sees his feature checklist completed? Is it the designer, or engineer? Clearly, it should be some of all of these, but in many places, "good enough" is a value in a cell on a spreadsheet that's not jointly owned.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.