This post is cross posted from my LinkedIn account. You'll find most/all comments there.
Let's have some fun today. If you took the time to view this post, then take an extra 30 seconds, hit the comment button and jot down your 5 favorite products. These are the ones when you use them they bring a smile to your face. Without them life would not be so fun. Life is too short to use crap products. Get a few of the great ones and discard the ones that don't meet the mark. If you're a builder of products, strive to make the best product.
Here are mine (at the moment) in no particular order.
- Leki hiking poles - a real knee saver when hiking down from Mohawk Lakes last week
- Airstream Classic - pick it up in 2 weeks, but I KNOW it will be on the list
- Taylor 618e guitar - present from Lonna which I don't deserve
- Big Green Egg - a cult in of itself
- Radiant Floors in our Colorado cabin - definitely a smile when my foot hits the floor!
You don't need to read further unless you want the back story. Just go straight to the comment button. You never know, you may help someone with their 2015 holiday shopping. BTW, we all know you love your smartphone so name an app you love instead.
The back story is that I often use this question when interviewing non-technical people. There is no right answer, but there can be a wrong answer. I'm just looking to see if you have passion about anything. You'd be surprised. I get it if your favorite product is a Lamborghini (and you don't have one, but can describe everything about it). I don't get it if your favorite product is an iPod (and you don't have one). Yes that really happened, and no job offer.
The origin of the 5 Favorite Product question came in January 2008 when Joe and I gave presentations at an All Hands meeting at the downtown Alamo Ritz drafthouse. We first did a fun parody of the Mac vs PC commercials with Lifesize taking on Polycom. I also did a segment on great products. As a builder you don't get to decide if your product is great. Your customers will tell you. But always strive to build the best product. The company was small enough at the time where I asked almost everyone the 5 favorite products question. The results were outstanding. A few of the non-obvious ones from 2008.
- Vanguard mutual funds - brilliant answer from our CFO
- A specific brand of jogging stroller
- Netflix - novel answer 8 years ago
- Church's Footwear - a brand of shoes in Europe
- Pencil - love simplicity
- A great steak to grill up
- And the obligatory tech, cars, watches, bikes, audio, motorcycle products
Mine from 2008 were.
- Garmin aviation GPS
- Apple products as a category
- Country Coach Inspire 330 Motorhome
- Tivo - I (and my family) still miss Tivo!
- Pulsar XP - homebuilt airplane I built in 1997
The conversations that ensue when you start talking about great products is fascinating. You should engage in it with the things you personally use as well as the things that you do professionally. Look for the smile on your face when you let yourself reveal your true passions.
If you made it this far, congrats. Now go leave your 5 favorite products in the comments!