I don’t know about you, but when I go shopping for clothes I have a maximum dollar amount of how much I’m willing to spend on a pair of pants, on a shirt, etc. The problem is, that figure hasn’t changed much since I was in high school. Yet in that span of time, my style and the cost of goods have drastically changed to where I am grossly under-budgeting for what I actually want. This has resulted in me passing on outfits that I would truly love and fit my needs, because of an arbitrary number in my head.
Additionally, many of the clothes that did happen to fall within the “acceptable” price range tended to be just “good enough.” They weren’t really what I was after but in the end they made the cut and I bought them. Then after getting home with them, I found they didn’t work as I’d hoped, were worn once or twice and then lost into the abyss that is my closet, never to see the light of day again. If I add up the amount I’ve spent on all these “bargains, deals, or good enoughs” they would probably equal 1 to 2x the amount that I was initially unwilling to spend, and now they’re sitting unworn in my closet, as something I don’t love that doesn’t really fit my needs. Plus, all the clutter makes it that much harder for me to find the few pieces I really do love.
This concept is not new to much of the world, in fact the show, What Not to Wear, consistently helps their clients wrestle with this truth in their episodes.
If I would buy less and spend more on a few staple items, they’d actually get better use, fit my needs more, and represent who I truly am, than if I went with the “good enoughs.”
By placing a higher value on the product and not making price the bottom line, I’d be happier in the end.
I remember when I first stepped foot into the development world, I was flabbergasted at how much development projects could run. To learn that $1,000 is a drop in the bucket for most projects prompted instant jaw drop. I had yet to really value what development work meant, looked like, and cost. Now that I’ve been in the industry over 2 years I have a much higher value for the effort it takes to make websites, and I’m not surprised or floored at all when I discover that many of the most popular sites on the web are easily $50-100K+ in development costs.
I understand how small companies, with limited resources, that need a web presence for the success of their business, can feel the pinch of the industry standard and rate for the type of development they need. The sticker shock is often blinding at first, especially when $10,000 can melt away like butter on hot summer day. But if feature A is mission critical for your success, then the only thing that makes sense is to prioritize every nickel it takes to get feature A done exactly right. That may mean you pass on feature B, C, and D….for now. In the end, when you find your favorite jeans that fit just right, you wear 7 days straight because they are that good, and they make you feel like a million bucks, every penny was worth it. Do yourself a favor, don’t settle for “good enough.”
-Photo Credit: 401(K) 2012