When It’s “Good Enough”

Michael Gartenberg – More on the good and the better Gartenberg also picks up on the Scoble post below and focuses on Scoble’s statement that his Slingbox is “good enough” for remote viewing even though it’s not high def. Gartenberg then goes on to make a really good point. When there is a huge trade off in benefits “good enough” actually is frequently good enough. The mp3 is of course the greatest example of this. As Gartenberg points out, the desire to have 1,000 songs in your pocket is a compelling enough reason to suffer some minor audio degradation over CD. Similarly the tradeoff for lower video quality with Slingbox — but all your video everywhere you go is a trade off as well.

One thing to keep in mind though is when there is no trade off, and competitors are offering products of superior quality, “good enough” frequently is not good enough. Some have suggested for instance that regular non or only OTA HDTV in Media Center is “good enough.” It is not. Why? Because I can get HD PVRs through my satellite and cable provider and in terms of television Media Center offers me very little incremental benefit in contrast to the mp3 or a Slingbox. Similarly if someone else’s Slingbox did play in HDTV then “good enough” would cease to work for the Slingbox anymore.

Also I do think with regards to the HDTV “good enough” idea that the comparison between mp3/CD and nonHD/HD is vastly different. We are willing to accept some things with our ears that we won’t accept with our eyes. And the difference in quality between mp3 and CD is probably perceived as less of a difference to most than the difference between standard and high definition television.

Still, the point made by Gartenberg and Scoble is a good one.