What Works: The Economics of Good Enough

10 thoughts on “What Works: The Economics of Good Enough”

  1. Economics of “good enough” is not good enough if you want to be top company or if you want to create top products. I learned that in my experience creating iPhone apps for the past 1.5 years.

  2. Om, all of us remember Flip – the product that almost single-handedly told the world “Good enough is… well… good enough”. You don’t have to be a Rolls Royce when a Camry might be good enough (and affordable too). For a while, at GotoCamera, we used to say “we’re the Flip of home and small business video monitoring”. Then Cisco went and shuttered Flip… sigh… 😉

    The ethos of being “good enough” is what the Web lives on. “Launch with a minimum viable product and iterate” = “launch what’s good enough”. And so on.

    Oh, btw, a lesson for fellow startup founders: celebrate small successes. It keeps you in good spirits, keeps the team in good spirits, and keeps you climbing the ladder. God knows the big successes are few and far between.

    – Varun
    Founder, GotoCamera.com

  3. I’m not sure it’s “good enough” to mis-spell Pareto’s name in your teaser paragraph. Especially if you work in the media and are trying to sell your prose!

    And if you think omnipresent, fickle, and demanding customers are anything new, then you’re not ideally placed to learn the lessons of history (which definitely isn’t good enough). I’m sure the first vendor of blank clay tablets felt the same about his clients. I know I did, more than twenty years ago.

    And how do you measure “good enough” anyway? Before the Internet, any UK software product that wanted to succeed in the US had to be twice as good as its US competitors at half the price before it was considered “good enough” by prospective customers.

  4. Ian, it’s just as well we’re not living in the pre-Internet era then. 🙂

    Taking our case again (the only one I’m really familiar with…!), we’re a Singapore company but our subscribers are all over the world (180 countries, with paying subscribers in over 50!)… and the vast – VAST – majority of our paying subscribers are in… hold your breath… the US.

    Not taking anything away from the extra-hard work you no doubt had to put in, but I guess perceptions change with time. Thankfully for us. 🙂

    – Varun.

    PS: It *is* good enough to mis-spell Pareto… Om isn’t selling prose, he’s selling knowledge, advice, wisdom. That said, I might not buy his literature… 😉

  5. Om, I appreciate you covering this – I did too on my blog – because if nothing else it is useful to think about the concept of “good enough” as it relates to business today versus say a decade ago. But let’s not heap too much praise here on this phrase being revolutionary because the “Economics of Good Enough” is not a new term. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that Adam listened to the same Harvard Business Review webinar that I did from Ranjay Gulati entitled “Unleash the power of marketing to drive innovation and profit” which covers this topic deeply.

  6. Top companies are not just good enough in the competencies that go towards their advantage, but they can be good enough everywhere else.

    The quote I like – and might link to my blog – is the “today’s company has to have a higher metabolic rate”.

    Thanks for the post!

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