I've been watching Enterprise and something that has been niggling in the back of my brain came to the fore. The transporter. One giant pad. So not only would that mean only one anular confinement beam but also it seems to me that the computers would have to work harder to keep separate people or objects separate. This would I would think increase greatly the chances for failure.
So I'm wondering if this was just poor thinking on the creative people's parts, or are there real life examples of poorly thought out ideas like the above that in subsequent years seem self evident with hindsight?