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« Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts | Main | Pay me now, or pay me later »

October 16, 2007


Alex Givant

Dan Roberts

Light hearted as it may be, this comic is a good example of not understanding the requirements before finding a "solution".

A solution fulfills the requirements of the problem, anything else is a compromise.

There should be another frame with a notebook in a museum and the words smudged beyond recognition.


We got a lot of mails about the "Space Pen" being an Urban Legend.

However, even the snopes link says "the lesson of this anecdote is a valid one, that we sometimes expend a great deal of time, effort, and money to create a "high-tech" solution to a problem, when a perfectly good, cheap, and simple solution is right before our eyes".

To elaborate a bit more, I have seen many instances where a project is held hostage by a customer requirement or design decision that is very costly or complicated to implement, when the same problem could have been solved by the equivalent of 'using a pencil instead'.

However, it was a lot easier to illustrate this thought in cartoon form using the space pen story :)

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