Wed 3 Oct 2007
If you’ve read “The Paradox of Choice”, then you are familiar with author Barry Schwartz’s argument that trying to maximize outcomes is a recipe for unhappiness, because in today’s option-rich world, there’s always going to be a different option that might be better than the choice you are about to make. Better, Schwartz says, to be a “satisficer” and just find something really good, rather than worry about whether its the best. Unfortunately, Schwartz fuzzes over the neurotic existential core question that drives one to be a maximizer rather than a satisficer. Probably we’d all be satisficers if only for the relief of stopping shopping around, if only I could tell the difference between getting something really good that’s maybe not the best, and worst of all, Settling.
So what does this have to do with Voila, Baby!? My cousin Kimberly Brown has started a business helping expecting and new parents prepare for and supply their offspring. This is a godsend for we maximizers, who want to get the right thing/a good deal/something special but don’t have the time or information to decide between 10 different kinds of strollers or diapers or cribs or all the stuff you need to have, never mind the bells and whistles. Kimberly’s put the family genetic shopping gene plus years of on-the-ground New Jersey training and her investigative journalism instincts to the task of figuring out what all the products do and helping people find the one that works best for their budget, lifestyle, aesthetics, etc. Avoid the dangers of settling and the depressive spiral of maximizing by letting Voila, Baby! figure this stuff out for you. Plus, your boss won’t catch you surfing baby sites while you’re at work.