“Good Enough”- Lambert’s Lagniappe, October 2009

Wired Magazine (September 2009) ran an article entitled “The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine”. The article discussed how the Flip camera revolutionized both the camera market, and how in other areas, the trend appears to be looking for simple solutions that adequately performs the required job. While the theory of “good enough” may apply to software, physical infrastructure may be past that point of simply being a convenience. Because of the economic downturn, everyone recognizes that the “new normal” means economic development and competitiveness is a new fact. This implies that the simple solutions of the past may not be the simple solutions in the future.

Earlier this year, KPMG International released a report on a survey of high level industry exec­utives regarding transportation. The report, “Bridging the Global Infrastructure Gap: Views from the Executive Suite”, was based on surveys with 328 high level executives across the globe. The survey, taken between November and December of 2008, reported that only 14% of the respondents believed that infrastructure was adequate for their business, with another 57% stating it was somewhat adequate, with 18% stating it was inadequate. Their outlook dims, as 77% stated that current infrastructure will not be sufficient for long term growth. As this perceived lack of infrastructure begins to influence multinational firms, the strate­gic investment of transportation to promote economic development appears to be more critical. We cannot simply accept a transportation system that is “good enough”. We have an opportunity to reinvigorate our domestic economy by linking our system into the global supply chains, providing jobs for American workers. However, this does not necessarily mean building all new roads and facilities, but learning to leverage and maintain the system already in place.

Recently, I stated that we should be planning on how our grandchildren go to work in thirty years, not where the pothole is today. Fixing today’s potholes may be good enough, but not good enough for our long term success.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.