When is “Good Enough” not enough?

There has been a persistent trend over the last decade towards “good enough” technology. Remember the Flip video camera back in 2007? Everybody in the industry was laughing at a product with one button and no fancy features. But with one-button simplicity and YouTube upload, it met an need and captured 13% of the camcorder market.

Big enterprise software vendors like Oracle has effectively abandoned the low end of the market to “good enough” open source solutions. These might not have the clustering, failover and manageability features of commercial software, but are good enough for most users.

But maybe the pendulum has reached the furthest end of “good enough”. One of the most-hyped home IT products of 2013 was the Nest “intelligent” thermostat. It seems that corner-cutting in the engineering behind it causes it to sometimes turn peoples apartments and houses into saunas.

Sometimes, “good enough” is not enough. Do you have a clear picture of which of your IT systems can be “good enough” and which ones have to be excellently engineered?