Good Enough

80/20 rule.

You know, the “best practice” meeting rule – the 20 percent left to be accomplished isn’t worth the time it will take to get there given that you have 80 percent of the problem solved.

Personally, I invoke 80/20 all the time. My experience is that when you hit the 80 percent mark, you start moving in circles or – worse – you might actually fool yourself into believing that you have found a hard and fast solution – better to leave some open room for more thinking and ideating.

You with me so far?

80/20 was never meant to be “good enough,” as in no need to do better – it was simply a realization that often better or best or even better than that can be an elusive and even unfulfilling goal – and that solving the problem at hand might in fact be excellence versus solving the world’s problems.

See where I’m going?

This issue came up at Cannes as we judged the work submitted for the Titanium and Integrated Lions.  See last week’s Weekly Ramble.

What was the standard of excellence across all channels? How did you judge extraordinary execution in multiple mediums? Did it have to be the same? (Not talking “matched luggage.”) What measurement or metric could possibly match a high-production-value video with an e-mail reminder when the e-mail was actually the bullet and the video was really the trigger? You get the point.

Clearly some work was good enough – didn’t have to be better – it made the point, accomplished its goal – maybe went beyond – 80/20 – it worked – let’s move on.

Truth is many companies known for big budget, multimillion dollar video productions, of 30-second commercials are being confronted by that debate, as cheaply produced videos clog the cloud but seem to get the same reach, frequency and possibly impact – so that on a cost of 80/20 that extra 20 is a financial drag – and in today’s world that’s not a good thing.

Bob Greenberg, the President of our Jury and well-known Digital Visionary, pointed out an article to us from Wired Magazine, that is a must read to get the debate going.

Here is what the article says about 80/20:

“If that 80 percent number rings a bell, it’s because of the famous Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. And it happens to be a recurring theme in Good Enough products. You can think of it this way: 20 percent of the effort, features, or investment often delivers 80 percent of the value to consumers. That means you can drastically simplify a product or service in order to make it more accessible and still keep 80 percent of what users want—making it Good Enough.”

Follow the link below, read the rest and see what you think:

The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine — Wired

“We get our breaking news from blogs, we make spotty long-distance calls on Skype, we watch video on small computer screens rather than TVs, and more and more of us are carrying around dinky, low-power netbook computers that are just good enough to meet our surfing and emailing needs. The low end has never been riding higher.”

Lots to comment on – small TVs have always been coveted for the right use; cheap and free have always created its own standard and Avatar would have had less impact if filmed by amateurs with less-than-perfect effects – having said that, there is a degradation of music quality and well – read the article.

Bottom line – I don’t know where I net out yet. I guess I will invoke the 80/20 rule and pass on the debate to you – but


He who thinks he’s good enough
isn’t going to get any better.”

 Arthur Tugman

And there you have it…

80/20, 90/10 or 100+, it’s never about settling…

What do you think?

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