In the graceful, brutal arc of a doomed relationship (romantic, professional, abstract, etc.), there may not be a staccato thunderclap signaling that Things Just Went ‘Round The Bend. Most often, evidence of the downward spiral comes in the aggregate, the result of a slow leak from pressurized discontents. What starts with an uncompromised disagreement evolves into militant passive-aggression and thereafter degrades to bitter nothingness. This has been well chronicled in the Cure’s old stuff.

Similarly, bigwideskyvites (alas mere mortals) have experienced threatened relationships with the incredible idea. These ideas, befouled by the clumsy mitts of mankind, likewise protest as the life is squeezed out of them. And whether their aggressor is chronic inflexibility, hyperpragmatism, or cultural suffocation, fate signals their endangered status with a common portent: … “just”.
It might go down like this:

Yaaysayer: “… then this part of the experience will be dynamically generated based on real-time user feedback.”

Naysayer: “That sounds amazing, but let’s just make it static.”

Yaaysayer: “Well, we could pre-develop several outcomes and deliver one based upon the actions of the specific user.”

Naysayer: “Oooh, I like that too! But let’s just have one outcome: ‘DRINK MORE OVALTINE.’”

“Just,” in the pursuit of the incredible idea, is no mere word. It is a premature tourniquet. It dishonorably acknowledges the spectinuum of All Possible Outcomes and presumes the locus of “good enough”. When spoken aloud, it confirms a battle is underway for the integrity and very livelihood of an innovation. “Just” is the clang of the ringside bell: time to put up your dukes and fight.

2 thoughts on ““just”

  1. I have woefully accepted “Just” as part of dealing w/ clients and thus a part of the industry. I have much admiration for an agency that can deliver an uncomprimised concept. Is it better to disengage than to deliver an off-kilter plan of attack?

  2. When you’ve found an agency that delivers without compromise, let me know (I’ll be the one in flowing white robes, playing a harp, hovering.). Still, even if compromise is considered a violation by most agencies, it’s a generally healthy thing, provided it doesn’t violate the fundamental integrity of the idea and emerges in the interest of co-creation.
    So, um, don’t hold your breath.
    Now, “is it better to disengage than to deliver an off-kilter plan of attack?” Well, I’m totally unqualified to respond, thusly: The best way to serve the client is to serve the project. If decisions begin to favor the client relationship rather than the idea (which was, after all, meticulously crafted on the client’s behalf), your attack won’t be off-kilter, it’ll be downright kilter-less. That’s a waste of your time and your client’s money — and an appropriate time to pause, if not disengage entirely.

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