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I'll deal with it when it gets out of hand

Problems have different timelines before their effects kick in. They might be small now and hard for us to notice their effect on our lives at the moment, like climate change or water and air pollution. These are problems that can easily be mitigated with stop-gap solutions in the short term. And hence, we delay solving them the right way until the day we are forced to. The day it gets out of hand.

Then there are problems that we just worry about, without really doing anything about it, or failing to realize that we have no control over it, like fretting about how your audience might receive your blog post, or how your users might react to a new product feature. These aren't really problems. Not yet, at least. The only thing to be done here is to find out if it could really be a problem. Try with a smaller audience, a smaller set of users. Experiment. And then understand what the problem is if there is one at all. And then solve it.

Then there are problems that we know will crop up if we don't do the right thing now, if we fail to prepare now, like heading out of the house without a power bank when your phone is low on battery. We realise that there will be a problem and we act quickly and with foresight to mitigate. We build products and design that scales to avoid re-doing the whole thing when we grow beyond a thousand users or launch in a new market that interacts in a new language or on a new platform that is touch only (mobile).

At any given time, we are faced with problems that are just cropping up or are somewhere along the way to spreading to a wider base or are in full blown proportion affecting everything you do. The farther along a problem gets on this axis, the more expensive it gets to resolve.

We can deal with something when it gets out of hand, because we can live with it until then.

Or we can design the right way and keep the problem from ever showing up.

This may be with climate change, pollution control, social inequality, or something personal like long-term physical, mental and financial health.

The way we deal with it is our choice.

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