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A common belief in big companies with resources to spare is that innovation works better when there is a competition between multiple efforts with the same goal. It is a luxury most companies don’t have. If you’ve lived through competing designs, then you also know this is a horrible way to innovate and it is odd that such a process persists. When we began work on the redesign of Office, we wanted to iterate over designs quickly while also making sure we had multiple perspectives. It was not competing designs per se, but it had many of the same tensions. It was only through careful management that we ended up with a better design because we had multiple efforts early on.