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The Free Solution

September 15th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips

Designers design solutions. The most despised solution a designer can design is often the one that is free.

Designers design solutions to problems. In today’s employment vocabulary, designers are called Solutions Architects. (I find that title an insult to architects and the English language, but that is just me. Anyways…)

For this blog post, I find there are three types of solutions designers design as they relate to the persons who are to build or implement the design or solution.

  1. Those designs you cannot build
  2. Those designs you can build
  3. Those solutions you don’t have to build, i.e., they are free solutions

Designs you cannot build: There is a story from the first world war about fighting the German U-boats. The story, who knows if it is true, is that a designer designed the ultimate solution: freeze the ocean. This is a design you cannot build. It would work, but… Exaggeration aside, there are many fine designs that flop because the persons tasked to build them cannot do it. There are many reasons why the builders can’t build, but we shall not go through those here.

Designs you can build: This is the case found most often. It is usually boring as building becomes a straightforward exercise. Now that every builder hates me, let me note that we all see things being built in front of us every day. Yes, there are many instances of building build-able designs that require great perspiration and distress of the builders.

Designs you don’t have to build: These are the free solutions. Everyone loves free solutions. Right? Wrong. Free solutions often come with the statement, “Look, you don’t have to build or buy anything. You already have everything you need.”

Ouch. Gnashing of teeth.

The free solution often comes with today’s cliche, “Do your job.”

Few persons like to hear that they are failing simply because they aren’t doing what they are supposed to do with sufficient resources they already have. That implies they are deficient in some fundamental aspects of competence.

Here is a tip for designers:

Suggest the free solution carefully and only after great thought (and circulation of your resume)

Tags: Competence · Design · Uncategorized

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