One Dollar Scissors

I bought a pair of scissors for a dollar. They were terrible, but they opened packages for ten years. I’d still be using them if I hadn’t lost them. After I lost them, I bought a better pair. They cost twenty dollars. I used them to open packages.

Tool quality is often defined by comparison. My one dollar scissors were lower quality than their twenty dollar replacement.


Tool quality should be defined by outcomes. My one dollar scissors opened my packages. My twenty dollar scissors opened my packages. They delivered the same outcome. I should have bought a one dollar replacement and saved myself nineteen bucks.

This is easy to see when you’re buying scissors. It can be hard to see when you’re shipping software.

Does your app really need to be redundant across multiple geographic regions? If the West Coast region goes offline for an hour, how much will that cost you? Because if it’s less than the cost of building a system that can automatically fail over to the East Coast, consider taking the risk. Maybe you only need one dollar scissors.

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