I went to buy eggs the other evening and realized that there were no small eggs for sale. Every egg buyer knows this and I am reminded of it every time I buy eggs, but isn’t it ridiculous that there is no such thing as a petite egg? They are large, extra large, jumbo and maybe one or two other over sized categories. Marketing is, without doubt, a strange universe where you can never admit to anything as being less than superb, even if it is smaller or less sophisticated or just cheaper.

In the 18th century, people buying bespoke furniture, or more aptly their agents, knew quality. They understood what made a piece of furniture great and nothing was ever accepted by a client that wasn’t of a superb standard. If it wasn’t, it wasn’t paid for and even if it was, payment was always a distant matter of a year or longer. I can’t imagine the tension a cabinetmaker would feel on the delivery of a shipment of furniture to a client in those days. Nerve wracking to say the least.

The marketing of product has become more important than the product itself. This is a parlous state of affairs when you think about it since every product most likely has a complaint ratio that is built into the calculus of cost. In other words, there is an acceptance of a lack of quality. In certain products, like cereal for example, that may not be so bad, but what about TV programs, or newspaper articles or, heaven forfend, politicians? Quality is not really a standard anymore, it is an illusion.

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