No Compromise

Web designer Andy Rutledge wrote to the design world,

Compromise is the refuge of the inept and weak–minded. It can be described in sugarcoated terms and even associated with lofty ideals for the purpose of misdirection, but compromise is nothing less than failure.

He claimed that, instead of compromise, designers must be guided by what it is mistakenly equated with: constraints and collaboration. So far, all this seemed primarily about the design profession, which is interesting to me but not my life, but then the article took a turn that surprised me.

Compromise: not just bad for design

We are used to calling upon compromise in daily life. Rutledge, however, said any result of compromise would be “less than it could have been”, not only in design but everywhere else as well:

Compromise is what happens when those who lack relevant understanding or vision demand that their limited or irrelevant views be represented despite what is otherwise best. Compromise is the byproduct of distrust, envy, slight regard, ignorance, apathy, and most importantly, ego. These elements cultivate an environment where irrelevant concerns can be rationalized and what was a cooperative effort degenerates into a bargaining process. Once this happens, positive, contextually appropriate outcomes are nearly impossible to achieve. Instead, a compromise is achieved.

Gasp! Functioning without compromise? In light of Christ’s call to believers to His standard of excellence, this merits some thought. We often recommend compromise in leadership, in marriage, indeed in life. What are we really supposed to do with it? Is it merely a sign of negligence when we forsake thought about being entrusted to a task (constraints) and being under the same yoke (collaboration) in exchange for the easy way of compromise?


4 responses to “No Compromise

  1. Kudos for simply taking it further than design. I love your thoughts about this… constraints and collaboration in the Kingdom – whowouldathunkit!!


  2. On a perhaps slightly related note, I’ve never really gotten the aversion to extremism in itself. If a principle is valid, shouldn’t its implications be maximised to the extreme, or otherwise not implemented at all? There are many forms of extremism that are in themselves flawed, but that’s due to the principles themselves, not the fact that the extreme is taken.


  3. John — I totally agree. If a principle cannot be taken “to the extreme”, it hasn’t adequately accounted for the relevant complexity of what it’s supposed to model.


  4. Pingback: I Rarely Compromise « Cogito, Credo, Petam

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