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“Good” is the enemy of “perfect”

And vice versa, sure, (“perfect is the enemy of good” is an old Italian proverb) but sometimes “good” just isn’t worth it compared to “perfect”. I definitively acknowledge that a lot of times, it’s “perfect” that’s not worth it compared to “good”. Trick is to recognize when.

It’s really a fallacy to always go for good over perfect.

You wanna go for good over perfect when there’s diminishing returns or when perfect is significantly more difficult to attain than good.

Basically look at these two deltas:

If the first delta is small and the second delta is huge… that’s when you pretty much need to hold out for perfect, or at least for “better”. Especially when the ostensible “good” is pretty bad.

Ya gotta case-by-case these things, sometimes the hunt for “perfect” can really trip you up. Learn to have some awareness around this.

Another thing to watch out for is… is good gonna be an obstacle for later perfect, or a stepping stone or interim solution towards it? I use this one all the time. A lot of my favorite solutions are good, but, future proof if I later wanna fix them up for real. While I really bristle against a “solution” that is painting us deep into a corner.

Mathias adds:

Even though I always say “it is all about trade-offs” another tricky variable is “who gets to set the level?”. If it is “management” it becomes hard to measure. If it is the person “responsible for the task” it also can be hard to measure. The “when” becomes really important.