Are You Cheap, Fast or Good?

I love the conversations and ideas I share in bars over a drink and the cocktail napkin’s that result from such nights. Thanks to Jason Delesoy (aka the sexiest man of the Yorkton Film Festival) and the debonaire Mr Ian Rogers, Saturday night was one such night.

So what was this eloquent, thought provoking repartee?  Whether you were cheap, fast or good.  Apparently you can be 2 out of 3 at a single time, but not all three.

Now get your mind out of the gutter, we were talking business, as in the Production Triangle.  You can be cheap and fast, fast and good, or good and cheap, but not all three at the same time, although, of course, in the production world, people are always trying to get all three from you at once.  Think about, and I’m guessing this will make a tremendous amount of sense to you.


Not, the actual cocktail napkin. I sillily forgot that on the table.


Personally in looking at this triangle I always want to be good at whatever I am doing, which translates to I can be good and fast, but not cheap, or good and cheap, but not fast.

Food for thought, as we continue to set our pricing and business models around social media.  In my mind, there are far too many people out there being cheap and fast, but not good.  Perhaps it’s that they don’t properly understand what they are pricing out or the work that goes into effectively managing and growing engaged social networking audiences, but from where I sit they are doing both themselves and the Industry as a whole a disservice. For brands and traditional media to properly understand how effective social media can be, you need to do it properly, and that is a very time intensive job that involves creativity.  Start valuing your time and expertise properly and in the fashion that you yourself wish to be valued.

As for the other, there is nothing cheap about me, and I am always good. ;-)


  1. says

    Ooooh! I’ve never been called “debonaire” before! I take that as a great compliment. Glad you found a small gem of intelligence in your discussion with two road-weary road warriors. The ‘Good, Cheap, Fast Rule’ applies so well to the world of media production. Something can be produced good and fast but you’ll have to throw a lot of resources together – crew, creative talent and technology – to pull it off and that ain’t cheap. Or you can keep crew to a minimum, work out ways to achieve high-end production values at a fraction of the cost, allow time for corrections and end up with a product that is good and less expensive to produce but it has taken more time to get there. And then there’s that other option – the cheap, fast one – that we see too often when people don’t want it ‘good’, they want it ‘NOW!’. If you can achieve good creative work quickly, clients need to know how valuable your talent is.

    And, yes Emme, there is nothing cheap about you. You are one classy lady!

    • says

      You should take it as a great comment Ian. That is exactly how it is meant.

      I found much intelligence in our conversation, despite teasing Jason for his forgetfullness on conversations already had.

      Enjoyed our visits! Thanks Ian!

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