A possibly slightly odd connection, or perhaps contrast ocurred to me after a meeting of the Christian Growth Group I belong to. The group is looking at the final book of the Bible’s Old Testament, Malachi, and shortly after a group meeting I happened to read an article about Apple’s iPad Mini, tablet computer; you can find a link to that article further down.
Before going further, I should say that this is entirely my thoughts and, regarding my opinion on Apple, is my perception without objective evidence. Also, please don’t assume I am dismissing Apple’s products out of hand, they are good products; I own some myself. It might raise some interesting questions about business practices though, not only Apple’s it just happened to be an article about an Apple product that set of my train of thought.
Malachi might be a name, a title or epithet, which doesn’t really matter. In his book (in particular Malachi 1: 6-8) he is laying in to the priests and people of Israel, for the poor quality of offerings and sacrifices that they are giving to God; and please bear in mind that this is circa 450 years before Christ.
Malachi is critisizing them heavily for giving old, lame and blind animals in sacrifice, by which they are not giving God the honour and respect he is due. They should have been sacrificing whole, healthy animals. Malachi understood that this was a case of giving what the people thought was good enough; the priests were no better in allowing it to go on., being more concerned with ritual than right. This lax practice was in fact disrespectful and insulting to God. If a man had offered such poor stock in payment of his taxes at that time, he would have been punished; beaten, possibly killed. Their sacrifices were not ‘good enough’.
But what does this have to do with Apple et al? The title of the piece that set of this thought and possibly eccentric connection, which you can read in the link is: “The iPad mini’s screen: Not retina quality, but good enough“.
I found myself wondering, how many and how often companies give consumers a product that is ‘good enough’ and not as good as it can be, in the sure and certain knowledge that there will soon be a better item. Do some companies already have a ‘better’ at the time they sell us a ‘good enough”? Yes, it is a cynical point of view but that does not make it an invalid question. Could it be that some companies deliberately issue a ‘good enough’ product just to make a few extra pounds, by selling us the better product, or service, at a later date?
Actually I rather suspect that some might say that what I have just described, would be thought of in the business world as good commercial practice, to make sure we come back for more. Especially if we can be persuaded to do so before we really need to. Just think of the queues outside Apple stores when a new iPhone is due for release. I think that most of those people queueing already own the previous model, upgrade every time from the product that works fine and of which they use ony half its capability.
So just what is ‘good enough’?
Is what the commercial world offers the consumer the best, or just ‘good enough’ for now?
What we give to God is never good enough but if we give the best we can God accepts with grace far exceeding that with which we give.