Good Enough until it’s replaced

Something is Good Enough if it can be used without any more effort put in to it’s creation.

If it’s not good enough, then you have no choice but to abandon it, or continue working until it is. But after that, you can stop. Because it’s Good Enough.

This post is Good Enough if you, my reader, are left with a broad idea of the points I’m making. For sure, someone else might make the same points with fewer words, more inspiring, funnier or any other axis along which better can be measured.

But Good Enough is not an unchanging, universal state across all future points in time. Everything needs to be maintained, to keep it Good Enough.

The A-Z was Good Enough to get around London in the 80’s and 90’s (and before). But it needed to be updated and reprinted to do so. The broad road map doesn’t change over decades, but there are plenty of minor updates which would render your old copy “not good enough” if you happened to want to get to a place that had changed.

While maintenance keeps things good enough, it does not make them immune to innovation and replacement. Suddenly something that maybe is Good Enough doesn’t get used any more because something better exists.

Today Google Maps is a better solution for getting around London. I used it yesterday and also found it Good Enough. I suppose A-Z is still on sale, but I suspect the revenue is falling and there’ll no longer be incentive to maintain Good Enough print copies and it will slowly fade into obscurity.

The interesting distinction between maintenance and innovation is the unforeseen disruption to the way something is created. No amount of maintenance to the A-Z would have produced Google Maps.

So stop looking for perfection. When something is Good Enough, then use it. Keep it maintained so it remains useful. And be prepared to embrace something else when that surely arrives.

This blog post is written for the April 2024 IndieWeb Carnival hosted by Aaron “RisingThumb” Leonard. This month’s theme is:

“Good Enough” – the Drop in Quality’s Siren call

If you have a blog, why not submit an entry with your thoughts on the topic?

Read more on this topic . . .