Chapter 8

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In the technical device arenas, both mechanical and electronic, you often can't buy a product that works well but isn't crippled with excessive features. For their 2003 models, Mercedes Benz eliminated the superfluous and unnecessary and generally unused electronic functions in their cars.
Six hundred features were removed.
How the heck many functions were there if a pruning eliminated six hundred?

Every manufacturer of every product presents a heirarchy of models from which a customer can choose. These product levels, from cheapest to most expensive, have to be marketed to people who don't understand what it means for something to work well, but who do understand "800 Watts!" or "24-inch Blade!" or "Holds 30,000 Songs!"

The cheapest model has the fewest features and the least performance. Buying up to the next higher model gets you the exact same performance but more gimmicks. Buying up to the next higher model might get you a little higher performance but primarily more gimmicks. If you want the highest performance, you have no choice but to buy the most expensive model and hope that it won't be burdened with so many features that it is impossible to use. And you still have no real assurance that the construction quality or robustness of the most expensive model is any better than the cheapest.

There used to be a class of products called "professional" or "commercial", that was sold to more-knowledgable people. They were built with good basic structures, to work well and to hold up and to not have the loads and layers of childish complications that consumer marketing requires. This isn't the case so much any more. Now that every goober and goobette is buying wireless communication devices, power tools, and pickup trucks, and basing their choices on how shiny and gadgety the device is, the "Professional Grade" device is pretty much obsolete.