Although the rule of thirds can work, if followed strictly and in a vacuum, it will fail every time. We must consider that photography is an art. And what constitutes good or bad is not something that can be quantified through numbers. For those who insist on only following the rule of thirds, it is often based on their desire to quantify an art. Unfortunately art is not quantifiable and an attempt to establish what is good or bad or formulas on how to create great photos is basically an attempt to paint by numbers. For these photographers only failure lies ahead. As artists we must be willing to fail. Failure allows us to get to a better place as it teaches us. However failure without learning from the mistake is pointless.
A question that is often asked is, when do you respect or disregard the rule of thirds? The key is that you should always disregard the rule of thirds, but you should never disrespect it. Our love of art is about feeling. After all love is a feeling. The question of whether art is good and bad is simple, does it move you? Do you like where you were moved to? Is it a place you want to be? Is the feeling that it evokes within you something you are ok with? If so then wouldn't that qualify as good art? Sometimes a photograph may move a person to tears of laughter or anger or sadness or compassion; but who is to say that any of these is good or bad for everyone. It is up to the viewer to quantify their own experience.