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Results: Fast? Cheap? Great? Let’s explore (and learn why you can’t have it all).

  • June 8, 2018
  • By GR Harlow
  • In Advisory, Digital Marketing

You get to pick two of these three options for your service: Fast, Cheap, or Great.

What are you going to choose? What matters to you?

Wouldn’t it be amazing to find a service (any service) that gave you lightning-fast service at an inexpensive price point (bonus points for being free!) and had an excellent outcome? I’m talking a brand new logo that comes within hours of your conversation with the designer, is exactly what you’re looking for in the formats that you need it and is dirt cheap. A flashy new website or app built within 24 hours of conception, functions flawlessly, was freely designed and handed over, and the product appears as though the developer read your mind. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Yes. It sure would. We’d all love to get awesome stuff super fast for free (or cheap).

But here’s the reality we live in:

  • We’re all human.

Humans make mistakes because we’re imperfect. We lack good communication or say things we don’t really mean or simply aren’t good at relaying what we really want. And on the other side: life throws curveballs, we don’t get enough sleep, or we miss that tiny little detail that was a huge deal to the client. Things happen. That’s why we have QA and a touch of understanding, right?

  • Things change.

Halfway through a huge project, you realize those colors are just not going to work. Or the layout of that page needs to be rearranged because of a new product, offering, service, or any number of things.

  • You get what you pay for.

For real. This is still a thing. If you go to Walmart to buy your clothing, you can expect them to be ill-fitting and not last very long. If you head into a reputable department store and spend a bit more, you’re likely to have better luck. We all know this to be true. The same goes for your car: nicer car, more money. Translate that to service: better, higher quality service is going to take a bigger hit on your pocketbook. Here’s the thing: that’s ok. Because you’ll be getting excellent service which will be faster, have better communication, and serve up a better product.


Here’s a handy little infographic to help you internalize what we’re talking about here. Life and business really aren’t that complicated. Find whatever middle ground you to need to get to the outcome you’re looking to achieve, and everyone can be in their happy fast-cheap-great nirvana. Just remember no one’s perfect (including yourself). Communication both ways is everything. And you will most certainly, almost always, get what you pay for in the world of service.

design service

So there it is.

When you’re looking for service, you have to know what you’re looking for and so does your service provider. Pick two: Fast, cheap, or great. With any selected pair, you’re going to have something missing. That’s just the way the service pieces fall. So figure out what it is that’s important to you and make it clear to your designer, developer, or website helper extraordinaire. Clear expectations make for great outcomes.

“I want to put a ding in the universe.” - STEVE JOBS

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