June 22, 2008

A couple weeks ago, I bought my first car, a Toyota Corolla CE. And I have learned that I don’t like having a lot of choices. It makes things too complicated. For example, when buying the car, I had to decide what kind of car to get, which wasn’t too difficult. But then, once the kind of car is decided, you need to decide what extra features you want. Power windows and locks? Cruise control? 6 disc CD changer? And how much are you willing to pay for those extras, and even the car itself? I just don’t like the fact that cars aren’t like most other consumer products with a fixed price. Maybe I’m just too impatient to want to spend the time to research all the options (there really are too many) and negotiate for hours or months to get the best possible price.

I ran into a similar problem at a coffee shop. Coffee shops have so many different drinks on their menu, it always makes me feel like I’ll choose the wrong one. Not that there’s really a “wrong” choice, but there could always possibly be a better choice. This is why In and Out was so refreshing. I had three choices (hamburger, cheeseburger, double hamburger). Sure, sometimes I want more than just those three options, but if I did I probably wouldn’t be eating at a fast food place. I guess complex choice and customization is only valuable when you know what you want. Otherwise it just makes the decision process more difficult, confusing, and ultimately less satisfying.


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