The idea of a triple constraint is well-known, even if people don’t think of it by that name. “Fast, easy, and cheap: choose two. In project management, the relationship between scope, cost, and schedule is sometimes called the “iron triangle”. But recently Seth Godin published a blog post that got me thinking about a new triple constraint.
“Profitable, difficult, or important?” Godin asks.
Profitable, difficult, or important—each is an option. A choice we get to make every day. ‘None of the above’ is also available, but I’m confident we can seek to do better than that.
Godin never says this, but success generally means sacrificing one of those three for the other two. Of course, you can be successful with one or none, but not more than three.
Where’s your evidence, Ben? I have none; this is a hunch. In an ideal world, your work would be all three. But the reality is that doing all three of them is exceedingly difficult. Sometimes the best way to win is knowing what you can lose.