Tomas Vik

I got a pot for my last birthday!

Socks, underwear and now a cooking pot! Why are these the best presents? The answer is: I use these things every day, and so even a small improvement in quality makes a difference in the quality of my life.

This is a rare Tuesday edition of my Sunday article. :)

I’ve got plenty of pots and pans, but most of them are low-end level Ikea cookware. My girlfriend and I cook every day, so even a small improvement in the cooking area is going to improve our life noticeably.

The Barefoot Investor book has a chapter called “How to live like a multimillionaire right now”. The chapter suggests buying good underwear and a pillow. Scott Pape, the author, argues that those can’t get much better after a certain price point. So even the most wealthy people will have similar items as you. Same applies for a pot. Bill Gates is not going to have much better cooking pot than the one I got.

I get super excited about getting something that I already use a lot but in better quality. It feels better than getting a completely new thing. Examples of such things are:

  • iPhone 6 -> Pixel 2 XL (an hour a day)
  • Anker SoundBuds NP10 -> Bose Quiet Comfort 35 (up to four hours a day)
  • Low-end Ikea pot -> Tescoma President Stone (thirty minutes a day)
  • Kindle Paperwhite -> PocketBook 740 (thirty minutes a day)

When you upgrade like this, you already know how much you use the item, and you can judge how much value is the new thing going to bring. I talked more about this in my article on Iteration.

Another great benefit of such a swap is that it doesn’t increase the number of things you have to think about. Owning only items that I use is important to me. I wrote a whole article on Minimalism.

Lately, I’m thinking about longevity. It would be great if I could buy an item and it would last me twenty years. I remember someone trying to create a jumper that should last a lifetime. But this mentality doesn’t seem to be mixable with capitalism. If a company makes shoes that will last 20 years, they’ll go out of business. Imagine buying Nike shoes and then not needing any for 20 years. Nike wouldn’t be the multi-billion dollar sneakers monster it is.

Until we become less consuming as the whole society, getting high-quality items like the ones mentioned in this article is the closest I can get to having long-lasting, high-quality items.