Versatility and Perfectionism

Lilia at Mathemagenic posts on the task-based view of knowledge work. What intrigued me was this comparison between

…the Swiss Army Knife: lots of carefully designed functions packed into one tool which is not easy to use at the end.

and

an alternative design: the Sardinian Pattada a simple knife used by shepherds that allows multiplicity of uses…

(I’ll put aside by love of Swiss Army knives as objects and reflect on the fact I rarely, if ever, found much use for one.)

I think it’s easy to spend life trying to create the Swiss Army Knife, the idealised “perfect” solution… and coming up with something complicated and cumbersome. Instead, what if we go for the simple Pattada solution… imperfect yet simple, functional and available now?

I rather think software developers need to reflect on this story…

I also smiled at Lilia’s closing comment:

I know that this is messy and probably not understandable, but I need to get it out of my head, so sorry 🙂

I smiled because this post is itself a Pattada, something that is not perfect but has functioned to engage me.

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