There's an expression that, "Perfect is the enemy of good". What is the opposite of that expression? I'm talking about times when "marginally adequate" is also "the enemy of good". Is there a more concise and evocative way to say that? "Golden handcuffs" might be in the right ballpark, if they were downgraded to "Bronze handcuffs".
For example: A product that suits most people's needs most of the time, but is unsuitable for most people some of the time, and some people most of the time. Yet, for whatever reason, this product is completely dominant, and can't be dislodged from its market position. Some possible reasons include:
- It looks more polished than alternatives (but it's a "Gilded Cage" or "Walled Garden")
- It's easier to learn the basics
- It had first-mover advantage in the market
- "Tyranny of the majority". Here are some highlights from the Wikipedia article:
...an inherent weakness to majority rule in which the majority of an electorate pursues exclusively its own objectives at the expense of those of the minority factions.
...a decision "which bases its claim to rule upon numbers, not upon rightness or excellence".
To give a more specific example of a product: I'm talking about the kind of criticism you saw against "Wintel" (Windows and Intel) at one time.
Arguably, platforms that make money by selling your data or showing you ads (Facebook, Google, etc.) are also examples of this. They may be very effective, but their core business model is extremely objectionable to some people.
Another example is hypertext, which has some major failings like "link rot", links that only go in one direction, no inherent licensing mechanism, etc. Attempts to fix hypertext have been kludge on top of kludge. I once heard hypertext described as, "The worst thing that could possibly work."
In the same vein, email has some problems like "spam" that have been so intractable that there's an oft-cited joke about "Why your solution to spam won't work".