The Best Is The Enemy Of The Good

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  • Back in the early 90's, Pac Bell's marketing slogan was "Good Enough Isn't." I worked at NETCOM at the time, and as a large Pac Bell customer, and also one of the early consumer ISPs, it was abundantly clear to me that in reality, "Good Enough Is." --Peter Kaminski
  • Herbert A. Simon coined the word "satisfice" (combining "satisfy" and "suffice") in his 1957 book _Models of Man_ for the act of simplifying a decision by choosing a course of action which is good enough, rather than optimizing or maximizing by choosing the best or biggest. (This decision-making process was later observed in the field by Gary Klein, who wrote _Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions_.)
  • Voltaire and a bunch of military generals are cited as saying "the best is the enemy of the good":
    • "Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien." - Voltaire, 1764 (apparently from an Italian proverb, "Il meglio รจ l'inimico del bene.")
    • "The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan." - Prussian General Karl von Clausewitz, _Vom Kreig_, 1832
    • "Perfect is the enemy of good enough", Soviet Admiral Sergei Georgievich Gorshkov
    • "Don't delay. The best is the enemy of the good. By this I mean that a good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week. War is a very simple thing, and the determining characteristics are self-confidence, speed and audacity. None of these things can be done perfectly, but all can be done good." - George Patton

Also see: Big Design Up Front

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