Saturday, January 5, 2013

Quality pays

One of the things I like about Apple under Jobs and Ive is that they are one of the companies which don't enable the public from-fear-and-poverty mindset that the cheapest is always the best choice. 
It can happen that it is, but often it isn't. 

Most people have a little of this. It's partly why the economy is bad, I think, if your mental ability to pay if frigged, probably your ability to earn is too. (If you can't give, you can't receive.)
I guess the populations most traumatized by powerty have it most. 

But even Danes, affluent on a global scale… in my early twenties I bought a fancy hand-built English bicycle, at three times the price of a normal bike. Most people thought I was crazy. 
I found a way to get many to understand: 
“What things do you know well?” 
“Would you use a cheap wrench on one?” 
“No, they break soon… Ah, I see what you mean now.” 

Of course one has to have money to spend them, so it can be an evil cycle to have to always buy the cheapest, which then break soon and has to be replaced, and so forth. Really good shoes may cost three times as much, but last five times as long and be more comfortable along the way. It is well worth it to somehow raise oneself above that trap. 

Obviously one has to observe well, also. When I go to Amazon to buy some household item, I don't just sort on price and take the most expensive. I sort by customer reviews and look at the top couple of items. If they fit my needs and have many high reviews, they'll generally be good for me. The price then is usually not the cheapest, but it needs not be the highest either.

By funny koinkidink, just before I got the email which sparked these thoughts, I had to apply it to myself on a new level. I've been irritated that the carpet protector mats I get for my office chair wears down in 1.5 years. They crack and turn to mush. And this is no matter where I bought them. This time I used the method from above (rank by reviews), and it turned out that the best reviewed were much higher priced than I'd expected (45 Pounds Sterling instead of 15-20). But they were praised and the reviews seemed to hint that durability would be good too, so I sprung for them. We'll see in two years if I'm good, or I also had to start putting gaffa tape on these ones...


ttl said...

Nice! What brand of bike is that?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

It's a Claud Butler. "Hand-built in London". Sadly I didn't have a photo of the one I had in the eighties, so I found one a bit similar.
Mine was flame red. It was a bit unusual, in that it was a medium between a racing bike (more upright pipes) and a touring bike (more leaned back pipes). It was called "Brevet", French word for a short city bike race, if I recall right.

It was never really top-top class because the Danish importer had put his own gears and stuff on it, and while that was pretty good it was not quite up the special quality of the frame itself. (And I might not have been able to afford it if it was all top shelf.) But you could still feel that the frame was great, it was a lovely bike.
I went really damn fast on it, it was such fun.