To be fair, this trend is fortunately declining, but especially with small clients or in some particular environment, the thing is still happening.
In most cases it’s better to focus on THE BEST solution possible, rather than diluting the effort to pursue more than one.
I’m not saying to follow blindly only one option and ignore any other idea that might come along the way, but given the constrains, the business needs, the user needs etc etc… in the pool of the possible solutions that arise from the brainstorming phase, we have to pick the one we believe has the most chances of success and laser focus on that one. Until tests prove us wrong.
If we believe two different ideas have the exact same value and we can’t pick the better one, we’re not doing our job right, in my opinion. We designers are consultant, and as such we should advice for what we believe it’s best for the project we’re assigned to.
When we’re forced to provide more than one solution, what usually happens is one of the cheapest tricks in the designer handbook. The one I like to call:
The good, the bad and the ugly.
The good is the safe solution, the one that makes more sense and the client/manager/CEO actually expects.
The bad is the crazy one we’d like to make as designers. The creative, daring, revolutionary one that would be so cool, but the world is not ready for.
The ugly is the one we put together last minute just have that freaking third option and to make the others look better. The real problem is when they pick this one.