The Only Sure Thing in Computer Science? Everything is a tradeoff. (source)


Recently I was having a debate with someone about what I felt boiled down to this:

Apple’s website has amazing, unique, custom layouts for all of their devices. You can be assured the ad for the new iOS device will look great on an iOS device. By default, their site isn’t responsive, and those pages aren’t what a purist would like.

And neither did my friend.

But my feeling on the matter was that it was fine. Why? Because everything is a tradeoff.

Sure, on a technical level, Apple should have been able to execute these pages with a proper iPhone-customized menu, and it should have handled browser window resizes better. Apple probably has the resources.

It is the job of a business owner to understand the compromise involved in accomplishing anything on a limited budget… Which all things are in some way.

When I was younger, I loved recording music. I would spend forever working on a single track. I would record over and over until it was just perfect.

Why did I have the time for this? Because it was at a time when I didn’t have a job! So I didn’t really have to compromise. This didn’t make the tracks sound a whole lot better, but I did it because I could.

I can’t do that anymore, and I certainly can’t let my business do that. Our clients have budgets, they expect us to deliver as much value as we can at a certain price. We negotiate that price, but it’s set. We are welcome to put in extra hours, and certainly we do from time to time, but that’s a trade-off too. We’re not paid for those hours.

Remember this lesson. Everything is a tradeoff!

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