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You once taught me:

Fast, cheap, good, pick two.

Hi Houston,

Yes, I used to believe in anchoring on two of those three.

But I don't anymore. First of all, I now think it's very possible do all three at once. And -- this is significant -- I think your odds of doing something fast and good actually get BETTER if you have the constraint of doing it on the cheap.

There is a lot we can control about reliability and functionality. They can both be measured and statistically improved. Coolness however is much harder to pin down. It is SO subjective... and ultimately determined by the consumer no matter how much we designers want to lay claim. Coolness is also transient and fragile. The moment you think you've got your head wrapped around it... it moves, changes, or disappears. Aspire to do both.

Maybe cheap it tied to cool. Can you do something cool by committee? No. Can creativity thrive in a large organization? Hmm.

Consider the context. For instance, how many electronic gizmos couldnt really stand to have one more feature added? down-featuring a product like that might actually make it more desirable.

Maeda's two paths can be rewritten as:
"what can we give the consumer?"
"what does the consumer want?"

In many organizations, as Houston implies, these two questions are answered by seperate and competing groups.

Perhaps, the realization that making the product/experience actually better -whether that means more desirable, up-featured, down featured, hip, anti-hip,whatever- is the point where Maeda's two paths become the same path, and one ends up doing what is necessary, and no more.

in other words, "what can we give the consumer, that they want?"

I think its important to find that convergent path.

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