So, can you do better?

Loads of things in society are clumsily done. Companies have an impossibly difficult time to get their whole mission done perfectly, a level of difficulty you can often only really appreciate if you are in on the inside… and even then…   You need at least a good product, an attractive design, easy to use,  durable, an acceptable price and a good marketing to let people know about it. That is a lot of different people already with different ideas which have to converge, and that is even discarding the external factors. So when they mess up on something, I often wonder, what would I have done? Can I do better? Usually, you can come up with a reasonable alternative, because at least you would not do-whatever-it-is-that-is-bothering-you, right?

Standing in the BHV I faced one of those moments. We were there to take on the exceptionally dull task of selecting a new a cooking Wok. To insure that this would not have to be done again for a very long time, we decided to go for something of quality. An hour later, the price had launched itself into the stratosphere and another hour later we could no longer care less. Just give us a Wok.

We did actually come home with a fine looking specimen, which had been made by Mauviel (in France!). I will presume that most of you will have never head of them, but they have been making pots and pans for 180 years now. That is a very long time, but you might figure that people need pots and pans, especially in a culinary culture like France, so why not. In the meantime, the design of their pots is refined and looks pretty cool. So far, so good, but then you get their brochure pushed into your hands. It had a cover to make it look like an Art project, and they had filled it up with pictures of the pans hanging in trees, balancing on boots and confronted with Playmobil puppets. Wow, must be good pans right? Is there even a remote link between pans and trees? And boots? The strange thing is, that there was nothing actually wrong with the photography but remember that they are trying to sell us a pan. This can not be the best course of action.

And then it hit me. After 180 years they must have tried everything by now, so that is how you end up with pans in trees. And really, I can not claim to be able to do any better. What would I suggest? You can get a great chef to recommend the pans in the brochure, but it would make you look elitist. You could show a woman cooking in a big provincial kitchen with her cute little kids playing at her feet, but then you would just look outdated.  Besides, whatever you do, they will still be pots and pans. Indeed. Might as well just hang them on someone ready to battle it out in the kitchen. Why not indeed. I do not have anything better.


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