Design by committee
Inspired by a recent post on kottke.org I had to throw together some links and thoughts on how so many creative ideas get destroyed in the process of getting approval by several levels of hierarchy. First off it is interesting that the english Wikipedia has its own article on Design by committee while there isn't a similar one in the german edition.
However, one of the most funny rants on the subject is by always opinionated Erik Spiekermann, when talking about the logo of the world soccer match in Germany 2006. Have a look at the logo for the 2006 World Cup and enjoy the read. Similarities to our daily jobs are just coincidental.
Even more hilarious than the mean cookie recipe mentioned in that kottke post is the art project he mentions where pieces of art were made to appease the average taste of a given country. See the paintings.
Also worth mentioning that relying on focus groups is just another form of design by commitee:
The members of a team that created the genial self-balancing Segway Human Transporter say that they kept focus groups at a safe distance. Apple also thinks nothing of focus groups. Confessions like these are few. But then focus groups were not part of the projects that gave the world nearly all things of interest or renown. [link]Again the question remains how to outsmart the committee.