Good, fast, and cheap but never all three

Good Fast And Cheap

The other day I found video in a series about coming up with business ideas. It’s called The 25 Days Of Ideas. For one month the series gives a strategy for coming up with a new business idea each day.

After noticing that you could skip ahead I started watching the videos at 1.5x speed. So I ended up watching a month’s worth of videos in about two-hours. One concept stuck out to me in the video for day 8. It’s the idea that you can be good, fast, and cheap but never all three.

Good, fast, and cheep started off as a marketing strategy. It works well for service based business also.

Here’s the general idea: If you want to be good and cheap then you have to be flexible on time. To be good and fast you’re going to have to charge a premium price. If you’re fast and cheap then you’re giving up on quality. If you want to compete you should consider which of the combinations makes you different.

So to come up with new business ideas you find a business or service and first. Next you try to figure out what two of the three properties that they have. You then try to reposition to find your business idea.

I’m better with examples so let’s make one up.

Say you want a custom ebony wood bookshelf to store all books you’re reading. Bob can build your bookshelf in one weeks but it cost $1,000 dollars (good, fast). You can get the shelf made from recycled materials, which takes six weeks and cost $750 (good, cheap). Then there’s one week $100 option but the bookshelves made out of plywood (fast cheap).

It gets interesting when you think about it on a personal level.

How would you position yourself?


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