Gadgets posted by

It occurred to me this morning that this might be the best gadget ever…


We spend our lives evaluating products, finding great ones, warning about dodgy varieties. And this morning it suddenly occurred to me that maybe this implement here is the best gadget ever.

1. It does a simple but vital job excellently. And while there are more basic alternatives, none are as efficient or quick.

2. It is ultra low maintenance. No refills, no servicing, no recharging. In fact I cannot remember ever having put a battery in it, in over 10 years of ownership.

3. It is impervious to obsolescence. More modern versions may add a frill or two here and there, but at the end of the day they are still designed to do that single main function.

4. It is invisible. No-one writes long reviews of it, breaks it down, blends it, eulogizes each model. There are no pundits speculating on what the next version will do. No hysterical blog posts speculating on rumored new models.

5. There are no patent wars, no lengthy expensive court cases trying to decide whether the switch function has been plagiarized or not. No tussle over standards, angry words exchanged by fan boys over real or imaginary transgressions.

6. There are not two competing standards trying to control the market. No back end deals to capture technology or talent, or buying companies for strategic patent defense. The engineers who developed the technology probably won’t be able to retire at 35 with a multi-million dollar stock portfolio.

7. It’s boring. Steady, reliable, predictable and solid. There’s no sizzle built in to excite younger prospective buyers. No massive mid-lifecyle marketing blitze to convince us to upgrade or buy one for a friend or family member. It just is .

I like this gadget a lot.


  • Well said! I just bought a new razor and blade set and it’s flawlessly beautiful.
    Start with caveman face – run new razor over face – look crazy handsome!
    That’s a better experience than anything my iPhone has ever delivered.

    • My problem is I’m beginning to feel like a slave to these things. Every day brings another round of battery charge terror etc. :)

  • Ah, such a vilified and scorned product, but never one so necessary. There have been many times when I have wanted to tug someone on the sleeve and say, “Have you considered using…?”
    Keep up the great work Nigel!

    • Heh, thanks very much. :) Glad to know there are others who feel likewise… :) Have a great week.

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