What you don't read on this site

by Volker Weber

I write because I like to write. And sometimes I don't write because I don't like to. One of the things I hardly ever write is a bad review.

There is a story behind that. More than 20 years ago I reviewed a product for c't. And it was terrible. So, that's what I wrote. A few weeks later I met the people who made the product. It was a mom and pop shop. Just two people, and they thanked me for my review. Because I was the first person to even notice them. I felt like I had abused them, and here they were.

And to this date, I try to find some good things to write about. It took me six reviews until I truly understood Sonos. They insisted on sending me two players, and I didn't know why. I had this one stereo. Why would I need two players? The answer is simple: you change from going to a particular room to listening everywhere. And with that, you listen a lot more.

Every new product that I see today, I always watch through those eyes. What does it add, that I did not have before? This Bluetooth speaker is splash-proof, yes, that is useful if you forget it outside in a rain shower or if you are close to a pool. Or that keyboard, yes, that fits into an even smaller pocket. And it works with Android, iOS and Windows. Yes, that's a thing.

But if you ask me to write about yet another "Sonos killer", puleeze. Or another generic smartphone, phablet, tablet? An "Apple Watch killer"? Hey, we have enough killers already.

What I look for is excellence. Stuff that you are going to enjoy when you have long forgotten the pain of paying for it. There is excellence in many products, and I am only covering a tiny fraction of them.

The other day somebody asked me whether he should buy an iPad or what his more affordable options were. I did show him a more affordable product that was "good enough". But my advice was simple: you are probably going to enjoy your iPad a lot longer.

That is what I am looking for. And it is often as simple as that.

And then there is the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. That is a huge win for you. Even if you temporarily lost control of one of your samples. You will get it back when you send an even better one.

Comments

Two suggestions: Netatmo and Philips Hue (Go).
My 2 favorite home devices!

Theo Heselmans, 2015-11-27

Which Netatmo product? Camera, thermostat or weather station? I don't really have use for either one. I have three different cameras for different purposes and they all work extremely well. A thermostat is useless, because my home is already smarter than that.

Philips Hue is pretty popular, but I actually prefer (warm) white light.

Volker Weber, 2015-11-27

Chapeau! That is why I like your site!

Ingo Seifert, 2015-11-27

I really like your approach Volker.
While looking at my list of feeds that I read daily, I have to admit that your posts get always read first.
Thanks for that!

Pascal Decker, 2015-11-27

Sorry, was referring to the Netatmo weather station. The ad hoc info is nice, but the historic data makes it cool.
And the Philips hue allows you to choose any color or shade of white.

Theo Heselmans, 2015-11-27

"Buy the best, and cry once."

Definition of "best" will vary, but I've found the general philosophy to be correct.

Joe Litton, 2015-11-27

Best article you have ever written

Paul mooney, 2015-11-27

I remember you explaining this to me before. Thank you for sharing this with everyone else. You are logical, fair and most important, you are good (to us)!

Ray Bilyk, 2015-11-27

@Joe … definitely agree. I call this “one day of pain."

Michael Sampson, 2015-11-28

This is the reason why I read all of your posts and ask you for advice every now and then. And I will let you know how my wife enjoys that Yoga that I bought instead. Thank you

Matthias Röder, 2015-11-28

What happened to the mom and pop store you reviewed 20 years ago?

Thomas Langel, 2015-12-02

I have no idea

Volker Weber, 2015-12-02

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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