What is the best computer? Which car should I buy? Is this a good price for a smartphone?
Beware of questions like these! They are not very good questions to ask. They are too unclear. The answers you get will be too objective, and none of them will be particularly helpful.
I get asked questions like these often. My first reaction is always this:
What are you going to do with the product?
Sometimes it means paying a ton. But if you don’t answer this question, you could easily spend weeks of your time and frustration using a product you should never have purchased. Suddenly, paying more is the clear win.
The goal is not to find the best product, but to find the best product for your needs!
Often we are lured in by a “good deal” on a product and then talk ourselves into it. And often, it leads to frustration. Why?
My technical writing professor cemented this concept in my mind. A classmate was proposing to write a paper about the best hybrid car — but the professor stopped him right there.
“What is your criteria to determine the ‘best’ hybrid car? This is not going to be a good paper. You need to start with a better goal.”
It’s too vague and unclear. There is no “best” hybrid car. Or computer. Or smartphone.
But there is a best one for you and your needs.
The first step to finding the best product for you, then, is to determine your needs. How will you use it? What features do you need?
Think about it.
- The fanciest tablet won’t work out if you are better off with an iPad.
- A hot sports car is counter-productive if a sedan suits your needs.
- A great deal on a laptop, no matter how cheap it is, is a waste of your time (literally) if you need something more powerful!
Buying the “best” product — which does not fit your needs — is not the best product for you.
This is what I call The Hassle Factor.
Hassle Factor occurs whenever you prioritize money, convenience, or other things over your time and effort.
Have you spent extra time and effort for a “good deal”? How did it turn out?