Quality Is Important

To quote Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal at Consumer Technology Ventures last week, quality is an important pillar of success for consumer products, and I couldn’t agree more. Many times products are hyped with incredible promise (marketing), but the product either doesn’t work as advertised, requires other services to be activated or is not ready (does Zune ring a bell).

From that perspective, I am less happy that Apple (the only PC platform I have ever bought), is gaining popularity. Price pressure and demand do not always do wonders for quality.

I currently use a 2-year old Powerbook G4 1.5Ghz of which the fan (right after the one year warranty expired) makes a noise like a sawing machine, and I had to reduce the speed of the processor to keep the fans from cooling. For work, I purchased a $999 23-inch Apple flat-panel producing stunning image quality and brightness. Yet, the ghosting of images on this expensive piece of equipment allows me to see what window was there 5 minutes ago. I expect the best from Apple, and I am willing to pay a premium, but I am not ready to pay a premium for under-par quality.

Now, I am not picking on Apple because it is the worst performer in the consumer space, quite the opposite. Apple undoubtedly is the best performer in the business, but given that, Walt’s comments make even more sense to me. Switching off of Apple is not an option for me, but griping is.

After unscrewing at least 20 screws on my out-of-warranty Powerbook G4 (directions courtesy of iFixit), I discovered that the reason why I had reduced the processor speed on my laptop for over one year and avoid the fan from coming on was created by, get this: a quality control sticker in the fan compartment that had come loose and was spinning along with the fan. A simple removal of the sticker solved the issue.


The sign of an intelligent nation is its willingness and ability to reinvent itself, upstream. Let’s inspire the world with new rigors of excellence we first and successfully apply to ourselves.

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