As a child I remember being told the old saying, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” Throughout my life I have heard many different iterations of this same adage and repeat many of them myself. One of my personal favorites, which sums up much of my own behavior, is “If something is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” There definitely is a need for finding a place or skill where you or your ability are in a class all by themselves, although there is also a time when good enough, is well… good enough.
In starting a company these past few years one of the mantras that I continue to keep at the front of my mind is the principle of continuing and never ending improvement (CANI). In order to be successful, it is an extreme advantage if you are striving to learn, grow, and adapt while keeping expenses low and taking calculated risks at each step in the process. There have been many times in our company’s growth where decisions have come up regarding purchases. It might be a new computer, a projector, a desk, or a number of other items that are necessary as we continue to grow as a company. This is where we have asked the question: When do you decide to buy a ‘premium’ product and when is good enough, good enough?
One of my passions in life is cycling. I’ve had the honor and blessing of taking multiple cross country trips on my bikes and have the stories, patience, and scars to prove it. For most of these rides, I saved up the funds to purchase a medium/high-end bike that I knew would not fail me. This is the approach that I’ve found from pretty much every endurance cyclist I’ve encountered. However on one of my journeys I ran across one cyclist who decided to purchase cheap bikes from discount stores. This fellow rider didn’t use one bike, or even two. Instead of the few tune-up’s and parts replacements for the 4,000 miles across the country that most of us do, he purchased replacement bikes and managed to go through seven bikes! I would argue that the comfort, reliability, and speed of my bike was worth the financial investment. The other rider might argue that he had a new bike every couple of weeks or so and overall still came out of the trip with spending about a third of what I did on my equipment.
It is the same in business. When it comes to purchases at Lux Virtual, I tend to look at quality and five-star ratings in terms of what is business critical and directly affects the product or client relationship. Recently, we made a larger purchase for a very high quality stand-up / sit-down desk for the home office. It’s one of those luxury purchases that we justified as a small celebration for getting a few larger projects and realizing that Nick was going to be spending a significant amount of time doing some animation work in the upcoming month and was business enhancing. This particular item is questionable, but we felt justified.
Working efficiently and creating a successful product or service may eventually lead to a point where luxuries for us today will become business as usual in the future. We are continually grateful when we can afford things that are ‘best in class’; however, as we continue to grow it is no shame to have some non-essential items in our life where good enough is just that, good enough.