In movies, that’s obvious. It costs far less to make The Big Lebowski than a Marvel movie.
But the metaphor applies to just about any sort of creative project.
We often err on the side of ‘special effects’. It’s easier to staff it up, to spend the money, to aim for slightly-above average. Committees and corporations are happy to pay extra for reassurance and consistency. It trends toward mediocre, because mediocre feels predictable and manageable.
But the race to spend more and more on special effects, on promo, on hype, on industrial might–it might be worth more to take the time and invest the effort to design something great instead.