Do we really need those new toys?

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I almost put an offer on a house twice the size of mine a few weeks ago. It was huge, and I kept convincing myself I would fill it up in no time. I could finally go to Costco and buy the big portions, I could get a dog, I could have bigger dinner parties where people would dance across the living room, I could barbecue, I could set up intercoms in all the rooms . . .

Wait a minute! I hate Costco and I would run if I had tons of people dancing through my living room. I forgot how much I love my little abode and how nice it feels to live in a little house.

Then I read Living With Less. A Lot Less, and I realized how easy it is to get seduced by the bigger and the biggest and complicate our lives with so much. As the writer says, “My house and my things were my new employers for a job I had never applied for . . . and they all took more time and energy to manage.”

The same thing happens when small start-ups get gobbled up by big behemoth companies. Instead of learning three distinct product lines, salespeople now have to know several dozens. And instead of working as a small, dedicated sales force, they are now part of a huge integrated sales force that includes field, inside, partners, and engineers. The result? Deals take longer to close, salespeople are  frustrated, and customers are more confused.

So think: Do you really need all those new toys?



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