Good-Fast-Cheap is Terrible. Except When It’s Helpful.

Colin Harman elegantly summarized the classic Good-Fast-Cheap conundrum via Venn diagram. For the uninitiated, the axiom goes like this: Pick two out of three.


Anybody who trades in image knows the challenge of working with a client, who wants all three. To a designer, the Good-Fast-Cheap conundrum is gospel.


A contrario, Adam Savage:

 Any cursory perusal of a fan/maker forum on the web reveals two distinct kinds of projects: the long, meandering, inconsistently updated but impressively detailed effort and the hell-bent-for-leather, tearing-toward-a-deadline build. Solutions to problems of the first type are often methodical and obvious. Solutions for the second type are much more likely to be innovative, elegant, and shockingly simple.

C’mon, admit it, you artist. You know Adam’s right. As much as we like to gripe, the intense project can result in some amazing stuff. It’s budget and time deadlines that drive us to excellence.


So if the first truism is true, and the truism one is true, which one is more true?


About the Author

Len Wilson

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Christ follower. Storyteller. Strategist. Writer. Creative Director at St Andrew. Tickle monster. Author, Think Like a Five Year Old (Abingdon).