Necessary vs. important

Necessary vs. important
Photo by Isaac Smith / Unsplash

Necessary is commonly defined to be the non-negotiable. While important is commonly defined as something good to have. That's not correct. You can make anything better by first understanding the difference between necessary and important.

First, consider a relative view where things are merely more or less important, and never absolutely important or unimportant by themselves.

Second, consider a car. Everything you see is "necessary" because it's present in the car. And anything you don't see was deemed "unnecessary." Then, "necessary" becomes the LOWEST point on the scale of importance where something just "makes it on the car." Whereas the HIGHEST point is the component that's the most unique to cars in general.

Just because a car does not get built without nuts and bolts does not mean they are as important as an internal combustion engine. The engine is necessary before we attempt to build the rest of the car. An engine without anything else will "still run," but without an engine we don't even have a car.

If you look at "importance" from this fresh perspective, and don't confuse "necessary" as being the most important, you'll bring more of your product vision to life.