The first time I saw the “quality triangle” was in business school. There are many variations of it, but I’ve always loved it because it clearly shows a basic fact of life: quality comes with a price.

If we want something fast, it won’t be cheap and may not be of quality. If we want something cheap, we sacrifice speed and quality. Looking for quality? You’re going to pay more, and you may not get it as quick as you’d like.

In our internet-connected world, which offers us anything we want whenever we want it, we have come to believe that we should be able to have quality service and quality goods for a low price.

Quality is reflected in both products and in the people who offer them. One thing I fight against in the equipment world is the perception that all information is equally valid, and different brands offer more or less the same thing, just under a different name. If you buy a more expensive brand, you’re probably “getting hosed,” or so goes the thinking.

It’s simply not true, even though we’re all guilty of believing that “you’re just paying for the name” when you buy a more expensive brand.

Truth is, you’re rarely, if ever, paying for a “name.” Brands that come at a higher price point are consistently of greater quality. They are made with better components, sold by people who are more knowledgeable than most, and will provide you with a far better user experience over the long term. In our world, clients are not so much looking to buy equipment as much as they are looking to buy expertise and solutions to a problem they have.

If you look at the specs offered by different companies — look REALLY close — you’ll see differences that add up to something significant.

The quality triangle is a great tool to use when taking on any project related to your business. It’s a reminder that we make sacrifices when we take on any given task — the question is, how far do you want to go in sacrificing quality to save time and money?

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