The Math of Mediocrity

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2 Responses

  1. Atle Iversen says:

    Great post – a lot of people confuse short term vs. long term cost, not to mention costs vs. investment. Amazon has surely saved a lot of money on customer support by making it dead-easy to order using 1-click (not to mention the increased revenue). The short-term increase in cost for a more complex ordering process was probably a drop-in-the-bucket compared to what they have earned back..

    My company is based (and depending) on Microsoft Windows, but I can’t help but think that Microsoft is based on “The Math of Mediocrity” as you describe it, and Apple (because of Steve Jobs !) is not….

    Microsoft has all the resources in the world, so it is very frustrating to see all the mediocrity (“good enough”) they produce….unfortunately, most people aren’t willing to pay the price for high quality (even if the total cost is *lower* in the long run), so I’m always glad to see poeple fighting against mediocrity 🙂

    • Charles Chen says:

      Absolutely agreed on Microsoft and Apple.

      You could almost feel the disappointment pouring out through the Internet when they canceled the Courier and J Allard (who also fought the good fight) went out the door. What happened? As Jobs said, “They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory”.

      At the end of the day, I think that it’s a different era now. Consumers are empowered by choice. Why settle for the bland, clunky, and inefficient when I can have sexy, easy to use, and efficient? In software and consulting, it’s the same, but a bit more subtle (but I have no doubt that as a new generation heads into leadership and management in corporate America, their expectations will shift the landscape).

      What continues to drive me mad is how content many folks are still content to settle for just good enough or to sacrifice the end-user experience. If the likes of Apple and Amazon has taught us anything, it’s that the end-user experience that’s everything. It’s why Microsoft and Google have embraced the concept of an “app market” – it’s easy for the consumer and when it’s easy, the consumer will open their purse strings.