February 16, 2019

Dead Air

My MacBook Air is dying. It’s probably seven years old, so I’m not really surprised. But I am annoyed. Spending a few grand just so I can get back to my normal routine is irritating. This isn’t rational of me, but buying decisions rarely are.

When something breaks - whether it’s a computer or an API or a toilet - the odds are pretty good that you’re going to feel some resentment about having to spend money to get back to normal.

Things like these are what I would categorize as maintenance purchases. People typically don’t get excited about paying for maintenance. There’s nothing fun about it.

It’s more fun to pay someone to remodel your bathroom than to snake a clogged drain.

It’s more fun to pay someone to design a new wing for the museum than to patch the leaky roof.

It’s more fun to pay someone to plan a new highway than to fill potholes in the old road.

Here’s the thing...

If you do mostly support and maintenance work and aren’t happy with your profit margins, I’d recommend adding an offering to your product ladder that is more strategic in nature. These tend to be a lot more profitable.


Well for one thing, they’re a lot more fun to buy. The perceived value is automatically higher than for maintenance. The buyer’s attitude is completely different.

(To be clear, I’m not saying maintenance has no value or that it is never the right choice. I’m just saying that if it’s all you ever offer, it’s all you’ll ever sell.)