A central theme of this book is that there is, or should be, a constant struggle going on in every organization, business, and system. The struggle is fueled by the dynamic tension that exists between delivering Midas feature-rich versions of products and services using extravagant engineering and delivering low-cost Hermes versions of products and services using frugal engineering (see the following figure). Midas versions are high-end products for nonprice-sensitive consumers. Hermes versions are for price-sensitive consumers. The results of this dynamic tension between Midas versioning and Hermes versioning are Atlas products and services. Atlas products and services are designed for mainstream consumers. Atlas products and services incorporate the product design features that will attract the broadest customer base and will also be profitable. The driving force behind the development of Midas, Atlas, and Hermes versions is driven by the implicit creative genius that everyone possess and most businesses should possess as they engage in continuous learning-about and learn-by-doing activities.
Anyone can learn how to be creative and innovative. Just work hard by learning about the problem, and then try to solve the problem by making or doing something. Not all systems and businesses can be creative and innovative. Some companies can work hard and they can learn about a problem but they cannot build and do things because they have lost the ability to do so. They have lost the ability to learn-by-doing.
Dynamic Tension Between Midas Design and Hermes Design