When Good Enough is Absolutely Not

Step off and on again for a different answer

Step off and on again for a different answer

Earlier this week I wrote with joy about when good enough is perfect.  The comments inspired further thinking, so tonight we contemplate the other side of the story.

The simple scale at left suited the decor (a minimalist design) and the price was right.  What could go wrong?  Apparently just because its a scale, doesn’t mean it weighs correctly.  Every time I step on again I get a different reading.  Some people would call this a benefit – keep trying till you get the answer you want.

We pulled out the instructions.  Apparently we are supposed to step on it once to set the scale and then a second time to get an accurate reading.  So now we just ignore the first answer and keep trying till we get two consecutive answers.  Frustrating as hell.  Clearly, the right answer is a refund and a new scale.

Turns out we haven’t had too much luck with scales.  The previous model was one of those fancy Body Mass Indicator scales with alleged accuracy of +/-0.1 lbs and +/- 0.1% body fat.  You could drop 2-4% body fat by just having a shower.  Would that it were true.  I’d have been much happier with a scale with a good enough resolution (say +/- 1lb, +/- 1% body fat) that gave consistent measurements.

My conclusion: apply good enough thinking to the feature set (accuracy to +/- 1lb and don’t bother with BMI), but please don’t apply good enough to the execution of the primary benefits (in this case accurate, consistent and quick weight measurement).  That won’t benefit anyone.

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