I got to know Brent Beshore, when he participated in Startup Iceland last year and was in the Panel discussion moderated by Matt Wilson. I think Brent is planning to be in Iceland this year as well in June. Have you bought your ticket yet? I am not kidding they run out pretty fast, based on the line up of events and speakers we are starting to see. I tentatively got Nassim Nicholas Taleb to say maybe to Key Note the Conference. Nothing is set in stone yet, but keeping my fingers crossed that he will be able to make it. That would make it incredibly fun, as NNT is one of my all time favorite thinkers, philosophers and authors. Anyways, I digress, Brent is a contributor to Forbes and he wrote a very interesting piece titled “7 bits of wisdom for your life” from Warren Buffett‘s yearly Annual Shareholders Letters to Berkshire Hathaway. I think it is a pretty good piece, one of the bits of wisdom from the Oracle of Omaha is something everyone of us should live by and that is
Excellence always beats a bargain: While there are certainly exceptions, in the long run, bargains never outperform solid investments. “More than 50 years ago, Charlie told me that it was far better to buy a wonderful business at a fair price than to buy a fair business at a wonderful price,” Buffett says. This simple, yet powerful, principle can be applied to virtually every area of life. Diets, discounts, dishonesty, bargains, and shortcuts can work well for a while, but they’re never sustainable.
So when you are making a choice between anything really take a closer look and you are buying something for its excellence and not because it is a bargain. I have burnt my fingers many times when I bought something because it was a bargain only to regret the decision. That comes with being brought up in the East where we are always told that life is scarce so you need to look to squeeze a bargain on everything, which is good in some sense but not the best of strategies. The reason I bring this up is the dilemma that I am facing, I plan to get a laptop for my daughter and I have decided to get her a Macbook Pro it is expensive compared to the alternatives ie Windows based machines… my wife is a big fan of the Windows machine because that is what we grew up using so we never experienced Excellence until I switched to the Mac, boy what a difference. I am by no means an Apple Fanboy, as I use a Samsung Galaxy S3 Android phone which I think is also an excellent piece of equipment. Again, I digress, the point I am trying to make is that Excellence is worth paying the top dollars for. Lets now think about the service and product that you are delivering, are you striving for Excellence? if not why not? Over time Excellence always commands a premium not because you are squeezing your customer because your customer values the service more than the alternative. I am big believer that Value trumps everything, the only problem is that not everyone value everything the same so you need to find those customers who strive to buy Excellence. If you followed that strategy you cannot go wrong, it is a harder path but hey no one said it was going to be easy. I bought a Macbook Pro for my daughter!
- Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Letter: 2012 Returns Were ‘Subpar’ (blogs.wsj.com)
- Warren Buffett Tells Apple to Buy More AAPL (mobilemarketingwatch.com)
- The Mac vs. PC Debate Was Never Clearer (seekingalpha.com)