The Tradeoff

We all face a constant trade off between:

  • Cheap
  • Fast
  • Good

In any transaction, we can pick 2 not 3. If you feel like you are getting all 3, check again and understand which is being traded, because I have never found a time where one isn’t being traded.

Here are a few examples of this idea in practice.

High Powered Lawyer:

This is Not cheap so by definition a high powered attorney, much to the dismay of family and fiends of the attorney, will be fast and good.


Fast Food:

The food here is cheap and fast but most would argue, not especially good for you.


Offshore Developers:

Despite being advertised as fast, most often are cheap and good (mostly), they won’t be fast.


This weekend, we had photos taken in a marathon of sessions for a fairly low price with a quick 1 week turnaround promised. I am very concerned about the quality, while my partner wants the photos faster. Each day I am hoping the quality is going to be better hoping we got the cheap and good, not fast. This may be because I won’t remember the few days extra waiting for the images in the future.


There is always a cost associated with things and the question is, what is the tradeoff and does it matter to you in this specific instance.


If you’re unsure what the trade is, ask a friend, someone not as close to the situation will likely be able to spot it quickly.


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