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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Good Enough Revolution

Wired has a great article about how technology is shifting from high-end to "good enough". They cite thing like Skype, Hulu, and the MP3 as driving down quality and price while they drive up adoption by the masses.

As more and more industries move their business online, they too will find success in Good Enough tools that focus on maximizing accessibility. It's a reflection of our new value system. We've changed. To benefit from the MP3 effect, companies will have to change as well.
The article is pretty long, but it does offer a lot of insight into the way that technology is actually being adopted by most people. There is a balance between how much people are willing to pay and what level of technology they will adopt.

Thinking in terms of visuals in church - it can be hard to convince people to spend top dollar for a great computer and projector when they want Good Enough. It can be hard to convince people that it's worth the time to learn how to do a great presentation when a little bit of time will result in Good Enough.

So, how can we build value in a Good Enough world?


ozziepete said...

Interesting article. Got me thinking... I'm trying to get my church to do a few things well, rather than lots of things/ministries half-well. It's hard work, but maybe the rifle over shotgun approach is a boomer mentality rather than postmodern. Hmmm, not sure if this is mantra for the future of the church or not now!!

But sticking to ppt. I'm not sure of the application. The Flip camcorder works because it's cheap, easy to use and authentic rather than glossy. So is our church goal to be cheap, easy to understand and authentic? I think some people would go for that. I can also see how slick slideshows may seem more like marketing than authentic, but how low is the "good enough" bar set?

There still must be a point where rubbish is still rubbish, even if it's cheap and accessible. Slideshows still have to communicate effectively. Bad spelling, too many points, irrelevant pictures, too much text, too many effects, etc. are still going to confuse the message, rather than giving us kudos for being "good enough".

James Wood said...

I guess you're right. Sometimes we want to embrace the "good enough" ethic in that we don't want to over-hype, over-sell, or over-produce church stuff.

Maybe, instead of thinking of things in terms of "good enough" it is better to think of striking a balance between adoptability and quality. If quality is too high or too low, then adoptability is also low, but when quality is in the middle, then adoptability is high. This is probably a bell curve kind of thing.

So thinking of this, not in terms of "good enough" or quality, but rather in presenting a message that will reach the most people, might be best.