2012-12-21

Good Enough Never Is

I really enjoy reading Cindy Alvarez and I highly recommend that any product managers read and internalize her advice. If we all did, the world would be a much easier place with which to interact. Recently, I appreciated her post titled Good Enough vs. Good Enough Never Is about how the phrase "good enough" is *not* an end, but rather a means to an improved product.

To rephrase: "Good enough" is not an acquiescence to mediocrity; but rather an admission of ignorance and a dedication to learning.

Cindy makes a great distinction that is a twist on the old adage “You are not your customer.” Her distinction helps you decide when your product is “good enough” to release:

  • There are things in my recently released product which make me cringe.
  • There are things in my recently released product which make our customers cringe.

It is a conscious effort for me to detach myself from something that I do not consider to be ready for release and to say “This is good enough.” However, Cindy’s distinction helps make that decision easier: at the current stage, does the product provide value to the customer without making them cringe? Nevermind what I think; I am not my customer. There is always a trade-off between the time you spend on a product and the value a customer gets out of it. What we as product managers may see as “glaring” errors or omissions in the product may not be noticed or missed by the customer.