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Ketchup Got Me Thinking About Technology

So here is how my bizarre mind works…

I am in Saratoga Springs, New York right now, about to attend a session with Alan November.

The hotel clerk recommended a local restaurant for breakfast.  After ordering my breakfast, the waitress brought over a bottle of ketchup.  Not so extraordinary except for the fact that it was not my preferred brand of ketchup.  Instead of my usual Heinz, she instead placed a bottle of Red Gold Tomato Ketchup on the table.  Up until that moment I never really considered how strongly I felt about brands, but I should have.  As I think about it, I am very particular about all sorts of brands in my daily life, from food to clothes, etc.  Oddly, it made me examine my strong brand loyalty for the technology products I favor.

For years I was a huge fan of Dell computers.  I had been instrumental in placing literally thousands of these PCs in the various schools I was involved for a period of 10 years or so.  I recommended them to everyone.  My family members all had Dell’s as well.  They were (and likely still are) terrific machines.  They were the only machines I would even consider when purchasing or recommending PCs.

Then I found Apple.  More accurately, Apple found me.  I got hooked very quickly.  I am now an Apple evangelist.  Not because they are cool and sexy (though it helps), but because they work.  Upon doing a lot of research, it became clear to me that the TCO (total cost of ownership) of an Apple is actually far less than that of comparable Windows-based PCs.

I have also been swayed in my printing choices.  Once a huge fan of HP printers (still think they work great), I have moved on to OKI printers.  Oki makes great, reliable printers too.  But what I like most about OKI’s are their low cost for consumables like toner.  Over the life of a printer, the TCO of an OKI is far lee than HP or other manufacturers.

The point of all of this is that if I am honest with myself I will realize that often when I break away from my tried and true brands, I find very good, if not better, alternatives.

Maybe the next time the waitress brings me an unfamiliar brand of ketchup, I should actually try it.

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