The Technology Sweet Spot

ASUS Zenbook

We recently picked up one of the ~$50 Kindle Fire 7″ tablets for use within our warehouse (more on the specific use in future posts). It’s perfect for what it is, a super cheap tablet, but it’s noticeably worse than the Fire HD 8 tablet that I purchased on Black Friday for my personal use for ~$30 more. The screen isn’t very good, the build quality feels quite a bit cheaper, and it’s a step slower.

This got me thinking about the sweet spot when purchasing technology. Spend too little and you regret being cheap and missing out on useful features. Spend too much and you’re just throwing money away on features you don’t need. Over the years I’ve bought quite a bit of technology for myself personally and for the business. Through mostly trial and error I’ve become pretty good at researching and picking products, which I suppose is a good skill to have. It’s been several years since I’ve regretted a purchase. My current technology is working out really well for me:

When I look at this list I’m struck by the variation in cost. Some things I’ve spent a lot on compared to what I think most people spend, like the standing desk and ASUS laptop. Others like the Project Fi phone and aforementioned Fire tablet would appear to be budget picks but don’t feel that way because they’re perfect for what I need them to do…and I think that’s the key. Most people are reasonably adept at researching and comparing products, but the hard part is identifying what you truly do and don’t need that product to do, otherwise you risk the possibility of buying a product based upon features that don’t really matter for your use case.