Types of Problem Solvers

I’ve run into these types:

  • Satisfizers
  • Maximizers
  • Optimizers

Satisfizers stop after finding an acceptable solution. Some do it because they are lazy – “I was asked to fix the problem and this spagetti code fixes it.” The others do it out of egoism – “I came up with this wonderful solution and there could not possibly be anything greater than my genius.”

Maximizers latch onto one criteria and knocks it out the park, totally ruining all the other criteria. Does the solution need to be flexible? “Great, lets have a meta-data driven solution with 3 ways of indirection! Not maintainable or high performing? Not important!” Sometimes I think these types think cleverness is an important criteria – one that needs to be maximized. 

Optimizers carefully consider multiple alternatives. They weigh the pros and cons of each to find the one solution with be the best combination of factors. Of course, this takes some time. And actually considering the cons of their ideas means facing their own imperfection. I can see why few do this.

What have I missed?

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