The phrase “Fast. Cheap. Good. Pick two.” is often used to highlight the challenges and trade-offs that come with completing a project or task. It suggests that it’s difficult to achieve all three qualities simultaneously. Here’s what each of these terms typically refers to:
Fast: Completing a project quickly or within a short timeframe. This might involve working long hours or expediting processes to meet a tight deadline.
Cheap: Keeping the costs of a project low. This could involve cutting corners, using less expensive materials or resources, or finding ways to minimize expenses.
Good: Delivering high-quality results that meet or exceed expectations. This involves producing work that is accurate, well-crafted, and satisfactory to the intended audience.
The underlying idea is that if you focus heavily on one of these aspects, the other two may suffer. For example:
If you want something done quickly and at a high quality, it’s unlikely to be cheap.
If you want something done quickly and cheaply, the quality might be compromised.
If you want something done at a high quality and at a low cost, it might take longer to complete.
This principle is often applied in project management and decision-making processes, helping to set realistic expectations and prioritize goals based on the specific needs of a situation.
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