July 9, 2019

Reader example re Sometimes Worse Is Better

Sent by Jonathan Stark on July 10th, 2019

Fellow list member Eduware Izekor sent in this anecdote in response to my message “Sometimes worse is better” from a couple weeks back.

In that message, I pointed out that sometimes - not always, but sometimes - there are perfectly valid business reasons to opt for an objectively “worse” version.

Anyway, here’s what Eduware had to say… (shared with permission):

Hi Jonathan, I might have a good example for this one. We once worked for a non-profit organization here in the Netherlands. They where collection clothes, house appliances etc. With the purpose of sending it to Bosnia. The owner approached us to create his website he insisted on making the website ugly and cheap because, then he would be perceived as an organization that needs help and donation. This way he could keep receiving aid from the government. First of all I disagreed, but then I finally understood why. We ended up not making the website. But I could see why worse could be better. Greetings from the Netherlands Eduware Izekor

Yep, this is a perfect example. Whether you agree or disagree with the ethics of the client in this case, it’s a rational strategy for the client to pursue.

As I said in the original message, you don’t really have a strong basis to argue against a seemingly “bad” request without knowing what results the client is hoping to achieve from your intervention.