He wants accurate and cheap? He’s dreaming!

August 17, 2011

There’s an old adage I use at times: You can have good (accurate, readable, usable, etc.), cheap, or fast—pick two.

The essence of this adage is that someone who is fast and accurate is rarely cheap; someone who is cheap is rarely fast and may not be accurate; and someone who is accurate typically isn’t fast or cheap.

Take this scenario:

Person A charges 100 jellybeans (JB) an hour (or whatever your currency of choice is), while Person B charges 50 JB an hour. You think you’re getting a better deal with Person B, right? Not necessarily…

Let’s say the job is editing a 20,000-word document to a fine level of detail.

Person A (the more expensive one) does it in 8 hours and is very accurate in picking up all sorts of error — that’s 800 JB you owe them.

Person B (the cheaper one) takes 15 hours to do the same job as they don’t have the same experience or critical eye as Person A; in fact, they don’t pick up many of the errors that Person A identified and have to re-read the document several more times to catch most of them. This takes them another 5 hours. So Person B ends up spending 20 hours on the job, costing you 1000 JB, which is more than Person A charges. And they’ve taken 12 hours more to do the work than Person A too, which may be critical if you have an immovable deadline.

So, bearing that in mind, do you think you’d touch this job?

If the quality of the 30,000 words he’s written is anything like the writing quality in his email, AND he wants it cheap, then you’ve got to think that this would take an horrendous amount of time for little return.

He wants cheap and accurate? He wants an editor and a publisher all in one? He’s dreaming!

See also:

[Links last checked September 2020]

One comment

  1. […] My blog post about a similar request: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/he-wants-accurate-and-cheap-hes-dreaming/ […]

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