Have you ever inherited something that’s really old? When you held it, did you notice that it’s different than what you can buy at the store today? Chances are your grandparents saved up for quite some time to buy it, and that’s why it’s lasted until now.
Often something that costs twice as much doesn’t perform twice as long, it lasts ten times longer.
When you multiply this over a lifetime, when it becomes the default, rather than the exception, you get more for your money.
People buy the cheapest stuff so they can afford to buy more with their money. But because more expensive stuff often provides more value in the long term, paying more means you can actually buy more. When you buy a John Deer or a Snapper you don’t have to replace it every other year like that random wally world lawnmower.
High end gear lasts a lifetime. Just like that old watch or tool that your grandfather passed down, the stuff made by real craftsmen and engineers will be working years from now.
Instead of rewarding copycats who make lower quality rip offs, you are rewarding the real engineer who developed or perfected a product. In the long term, this means we’ll have more of those real engineers and fewer garbage products.
The best retailer, the best products, and the best service providers usually guarantee your happiness for life. These products fail less, yet you can get them fixed forever. I buy camping gear from REI and backcountry.com. And 10 years from now if I decide I don’t like a tent, I can return it.
Overpaying means getting exactly what you need, often custom made to your specs, not some imaginary average person.
At the end of the day you end up with a very few items that you deeply love, rather than a house stuffed with junk that is worthless to you a year later. Life is simpler.
Most of the things we buy now are disposable. Your new phone will be garbage in 3 years. What if we started buying things that weren’t disposable, that lasted for generations? How would this impact us in the long term?
Expensive stuff appreciates in the long term. The best guitars from 50 years ago are worth 50 times what they cost originally. This means we can get paid to own stuff we like.
When you overpay, you are first in line. Your stuff gets made first, and the other guy’s stuff gets done when there’s time. It gets rushed. Many of the intangible pieces that make up the quality of a product or service go out the door when we’re getting a deal. They’re doing a favor and sometimes when we bargain, people resent us.
What if we always sought out the best of the best? Rather than hiring the guy down the street to do our marketing, we go out and find the best firm in the country? Won’t the best firm end up paying for itself even if it costs way more? At the same time, won’t our lives be easier?
Top pay attracts the best people. Although freedom and recognition generally trump pure dollars for employee happiness, those that consistently pay their employees less, end up losing their best people.
Employees don’t ask for raises. On the infrequent occasion that they do, they’re not really asking for a raise, their telling you about the new job some place else that they found, which comes with a raise. It’s your job to make sure they never have a reason to look for that job.
Often companies that can’t afford to hire the best people end up this way because they don’t hire the best people (who will generate more money). If your business is struggling, look at your payroll. Do your employees resent you? Are they making a sacrifice to work for you? It is your job to find a way to keep them thrilled to work with you, and monthly pizza parties aren’t going to do it.
Services and tipping
No one cares about $5 unless it’s a tip or part of a meal. This is so weird to me. No one haggles over $5 on the price of a car, but it seems that everyone needs a tip calculator to determine if they should pay 21.50 or $22.00 for a meal.
I usually eat at the same few restaurants all the time. They’re maybe 10% more expensive, usually locally owned, and the food doesn’t come out of a frozen pre-made bag before being tossed in the oven. I never tip less than 20%, and I’m not an asshole….at restaurants.
I always get great service. The staff who isn’t even waiting on me comes over to say hi. They know what I’m going to order, and if I forget something, they know it.
This doesn’t happen at Applebee’s or McD’s.
Overpaying in small ways is often not financially significant to you, but it seems like a lot to someone else. Over tipping makes $2 or $5 seem like a lot of money. This multiplies the value of your money.
By the way, a McD’s cheeseburger has about 2.4 oz of beef. If we assume that ¾ of the cost of the cheeseburger is in the beef. For a 99 cent burger, that’s $6.60 a pound for the lowest quality beef you can buy. You’re not saving any money by buying 99 cent cheeseburgers.
Changing our mindset
People who constantly try to always get that great deal end up spending all their time chasing those deals and never actually get things done. I’ve seen people do this their entire lives, and it is debilitating.
When we change your mindset from getting the best deal to getting the best quality, it changes the emphasis from shopping to deciding what’s important. Because we only buy quality, we are forced to wait until we can afford what we really want. That wait time leads to better decisions, and it forces us to make do with what we have. Often making due or improvising means we can avoid buying things we don’t need, thereby saving money.
This doesn’t always work. Sometimes a cheaper product is actually better. But consider removing price as the default decision criteria.
My favorite pair of jeans gets worn 10 times more often than my other jeans. If I did away with the other jeans, I could afford to buy more of those things I really love. What if all of our stuff was mind blowingly awesome, even if we had way less of it?
Tonight the power went out on my block. I was driving home from a movie to a suspiciously dark apartment. Now it was late, so the darkness is not totally out of place. But even supconciously I knew something was different, if not that it was the power.
I instantly was excited.
I’m not sure where it came from but the idea of no lights, no tv’s, and no Internet was something new and different.
It’s funny how our “norm” has become a constant state of technology, and I embrace that, and the idea of more new technology excites me even more, but this was a different excitement.
I looked up at the sky and I’m not sure if it was just the situation, but I could see stars, and a lot of them.
With the advent of new convenientances comes a larger and larger disconnect to what I feel are our roots, more or less nature, and the world we live in.
All in all this has shown me in more detail that I need to go camping for a good long while and just take some time away and to, I hate this word in this context, disconnect from the technological world I embrace and surround myself with.
Sent from my iPhone
Vizio, the HDTV maker who turned it’s eyes on the computing market with a tablet as well as three different computers almost went into the phone market with the link above.
Vizio quickly became my Windows OEM sweetheart, just because of their dedication to the user, which seems to be falling short in many other phone makers. Vizio soon dropped their phone aspirations after fully realizing how terrible of a place the phone market is, what with the carriers, the copyrights, and the competition, but imagine if Microsoft went into an agreement with Vizio to make Windows phones? That would at least give Microsoft another Windows phone maker as well as giving a Vizio a strong arm in the market.
Something I think about often is what my children will think when they see and read all the things I’ve posted online. I try to post things in the mindset that it isn’t something that I’ll regret later.
But I do know I’ll eventually regret vocalizing some opinions I’ve had, especially later on in life when I view things differently. It will be a weird thing, I think both for me and my kids.
Anyway, as a kinda of call back to this thought, here is a picture of me as a baby, probably like a couple days old (aww <3). I just saw this for the first time a couple days ago and it is literally the first time I’ve seen myself as a baby.
Tech blogging isn’t about traffic. It’s not about other people. It’s not about a particular bit of software. It’s not about fame or fortune. It’s not about recognition. It’s not about being the go-to point.
It’s all about you. It’s about you learning more about the topic you’re covering. It’s about you practicing writing. It’s about improving as a writer. It’s about enjoying the whole experience of writing and learning while sharing the experience with a wider audience. Feedback on your content, if you get some, is just another way of learning.
The readers will come. Or they won’t.
Write for yourself.
A few weeks ago Facebook released a new camera application that allowed one to post pictures to facebook while also seeing a filtered timeline of all of the pictures your friends posted. It seemed very redundant, as the Facebook app itself could do this easily enough and Facebook had also just spent one billion dollars on another app that did the same things.
Nevertheless, I downloaded it, because, hey- it was free. Immediately after I checked it out I deleted it. “Dumb” was my thought, because of all of the reasons stated above.
Fast forward a space of time and I find myself thinking “Man, do I hate Facebook.” I would find myself unlocking my phone out of sheer boredom, and with nothing else to do I would mindlessly open Facebook and drag myself through the newsfeed of updates from my friends, “friends,” family, friends of friends, acquaintances, Internet friends, long lost friends, and so on. It was then I finally vocalized something I knew for a very long time, I don’t care about most of these people.
Now let me first explain myself, I personally do not think I am too introverted, I of course love spending time with friends, making new friends, and all that good stuff. Equally so I also enjoy time by myself reading, biking, playing video games, etc. So what I mean by “I don’t care about these people” is not that I don’t care about their well-being, but this: some of the people on my Facebook friends list I have not physically seen in years, and I’m talking upwards of like ten years. Their lives are so distant and untouched by me that I really just have no inkling of concern for what they are doing day to day, or really week to week, month to month, year to year. They’ll live their life, I’ll live mine, the world will continure spinning. Taking this further, I found that I also didn’t care for the constant stream of updates from people that I saw even much more frequently, not that the content wasn’t interesting in general, it just wasn’t to me.
So with all that finally said, I went about deleting people that I really just didn’t mind not knowing about. After that I hid others that I also didn’t really mind seeing constantly, but still wanted to check in on whenever I felt the need to connect with them. Additionally, in this span of time, as well as the past few months, my activity on Facebook has been limited to auto-posts from my Rdio telling my friends that I’m exploring the new Justin Beiber album (results still inconclusive), as well as revisiting old favorites. My Facebook will also include a few pictures and videos concerning cats and then the infrequent update by me, which, at least in theory, is some sort of witty and hilarious observation I’ve found and has tens of Likes. So in general, I haven’t been using Facebook for anything more than getting my fix of the updates from those on my friends list.
Even after deleting and hiding friends I still felt a kind of loathing towards Facebook just in general, beyond even the annoying friend updates, going into the ideas of privacy concerns and what have you. Though as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t quit Facebook all together, I felt like removing myself from the network would limit any kind of contact I could have with people that I cared about, whether a great deal or even just a small amount of caring. Especially since I live away from those that I could just normally spend time with in person.
So taking this back to the Facebook apps I mentioned earlier, with all this running through my mind I reached a kind of compromise. It started with installing two new apps, Facebook’s camera app, as well as their messenger app. Then deleting the main Facebook app from my phone, and Bam! just like that I was cured of any kind of “addiction” with Facebook (at least for the most part).
What I did, in my mind at least, was keep the ability to be in contact with friends (that I may not have the phone number of) via the messenger app, while also sharing photos of my life to make my friends jealous via the camera app, unless those pictures are artsy in any kind of way, then they go to Facebook via the Instagram app.
So in conclusion I do enjoy Facebook, to an extent, I like being able to stay in contact with people, though in the real world losing contact with someone is probably for the best, in ten years I won’t care what some girl I knew in first grade is doing, neither will she care about me, best to purge them now and move on (use this as motivation to thin out your friends list as well, I’m sure it could use some work, this isn’t Myspace, having the most friends is no longer a thing). Additionally, I also like finding a way to make use of Facebook’s redundant app line-up.
Some things become such a part of us that we forget them.
I want because of what I wanted, and what I wanted, I wouldn’t want again.
The passing of a soul is light, extremely light, almost silence.
There are pains that have lost their memory and don’t remember why they are painful.
Convince me, but without convictions. Convictions no longer convince me.
We don’t forgive being as we are.
At the last moment, my whole life will last a moment.
Man is a thing children learn. A childish thing.
Don’t speak to me. I want to be with you.
There are those fallen who don’t get up so as not to fall again.
The dream that doesn’t feed on dream vanishes.
Continuing with the subject of poems, here is a poem I really enjoy that a friend gave me after he read my poem.
It’s entitled “Voices” and it is by Antonio Porchia