Thursday, October 05, 2006


I am what Barry Schwartz calls a “satisficer”[1]:
To satisfice is to settle for something that is good enough and not worry about the possibility that there might be something better. A satisficer has criteria and standards. She searches until she finds an item that meets those standards, and at that point, she stops.

Fortunately for me, one of my dear friends is a “maximizer”:
Maximizers need to be assured that every purchase or decision was the best that could be made. Yet how can anyone truly know that any given option is the best possible? The only way to know is to check all the alternatives.

Three days ago my friend the maximizer went camera bag shopping – thus began a thread that is now 38 emails long, complete with many, many links to online reviews and product details. Hours of work. My time commitment to wade through all those threads? I’m guessing maybe 15 minutes.

I’ve had a vague idea in my head that I’ve wanted a different kind of camera bag for awhile now, but I hadn’t gone hunting for it. Lazy, maybe. Or maybe I knew that my maximizer would eventually come to my rescue.

She did: the link came through this afternoon around 2.03 (her pick: the 7 Millions Dollar Home Crumplerniiiiiice). I got mine shortly after that (my pick: the Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home[2]). Brown.

‘Cause we satisficers are middle of the road kinds of folks.

[1] Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less
[2] For what it's worth, I picked mine up at, but they've done everything within their power to build a site that WON'T LET ME LINK TO A PRODUCT PAGE. Sheesh.

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