BIG news!  I’m buying a Ferrari!  I’ve wanted one for a LONG time, at least since Magnam PI.  It’s red, sleek and absolutely beautiful.  I can’t wait to get behind the wheel!
I’ve decided to go with the Ferrari SA APERTA.  Ferrari only built 80 SA APERTAs in celebration of Pininfarina’s 80th anniversary.  This V12 monster has 660 horses under the hood, will do 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and has a top end of 211 mph.  Sticker price: only $456,000.  But let’s just say, IF you could buy one, (and you can’t), you couldn’t get it for that low, low sticker price.
To say this is a good car is an understatement.  This is a GREAT car!  So how did I get it?  Well actually, I don’t have it yet.  I called Ferarri and told them I needed it tomorrow and was only willing to pay $1,000 – tops.  So now, I’m waiting to hear back from them.
That is a perfect illustration of an unrealistic view of The Project Triangle.  The purpose of the Project Triangle is to help you find your balance between Good, Quick and Cheap.  The basic principle is simple – you can only select 2 of the 3 qualities, but not all 3.  For example you can have:

  • A good quick job – but it won’t be cheap
  • A cheap good job – but it won’t be quick
  • A quick cheap job – but it won’t be good

This principle applies to all products and services; including video production.  Why?  Because all projects have constraints, just like the side of a triangle; whether quality, time or cost.  As such, a change to one side affects the other 2 sides – think of a rubber band.
How do we define each of the sides?

  • Good – refers to the level of quality required by the project
  • Cheap – refers to the available budget for the project
  • Quick – refers to the amount of time available to complete the project

Through the years I’ve observed 3 important things about The Project Triangle.

    1. IT’S SUBJECTIVE – Each of these qualities are subjective, which is where the potential for misunderstanding arises.  What’s good to you may not be unacceptable for me.  My idea of quick may be painfully slow to you. And your cheap may be outrageously expensive to me.


    1. IT’S RELATIVE – While relative is similar to subjective, they are not exactly the same.  For example, a great home movie shot and edited by my 11 year old daughter would not pass for great in a corporate board room.  They are relative to their context.


  1. IT’S REALITY – Like me and my dream Ferrari, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  You have to be prepared to live within the constraints of your project.  Don’t fight it – it will just give you a headache and aggravate everyone around you.

The key is to understand a) where you are, b) communicate that to your video production partner so we can c) manage the project to meet your expectations.  But practically, how do you do that?  How do you make sure we’re on the same page?  Actually it’s pretty simple.

  • SHOW us examples of your idea of “good”.
  • TELL US what you want to spend.
  • And let us know WHEN you need the finished project.

The good news is, you’re not alone.  We’re here to help you manage the process each step of the way.  Just remember…

  • $1,000 is a lot of money – IF you’re buying a toy car.
  • Walking into a showroom, expecting to drive off the lot with a new car is not unreasonable – UNLESS you want the SA APERTA.
  • An AMC Gremlin was a good car – UNTIL you were rear-ended.

QUESTION: What’s your take on the project triangle?