Does networking equipment consisting of many mediocre capabilities represent real value?
I recently hired a contractor to assist me with some work I was doing around the house. I needed an extra pair of hands to help with the more laborious work I couldn’t complete by myself. After evaluating various proposals and checking references, I chose a contractor who quoted me the lowest hourly rate. He had a mediocre reputation, but I was willing to take the risk because his estimate was so much cheaper than his competitors.
Upon arriving at my door for the first day of work, I was surprised that he wasn’t carrying any tools. I asked him to get his tools so we could get started right away.
The contractor replied, “I have everything I need right here.” And with that, he reached into his front pocket and pulled out a magnificent swiss-army knife. The knife had multiple blades, wood saws, a wire stripper, mini-screwdrivers, an allen wrench, a key ring, a fish scaler, and even a pair of nail clippers.
The contractor beamed with pride. “Yep, this little baby is what allows me to keep my prices so low. I don’t have to invest in any equipment, extension cords, or even a big van to carry around a bunch of tools. This knife does it all.”
I said, “Tell me something. I don’t see a hammer. How do you drive nails into wood?”
“Oh, that’s easy. I just fold up all the attachments, grip the knife in one hand and bang away at the nail until I sink it.“
“Hmmm…doesn’t that take a lot longer than just using a hammer?”