I was inspired by Leisureguy’s marathons with the Treet Blue Special…able to squeeze out up to 10 shaves on one blade. So, I bought some 99% rubbing alcohol and swished yesterday’s Treet in it immediately after shaving. Lo and behold, the blade looked like new today and gave a very good shave – perhaps 90% as good as if it were fresh out of the package. Paired as it was to a fearsome lathering combo made from the D.R. Harris Lavender shave stick and the Castle Forbes Lavender shave cream, the Treet produced a very pleasant shave indeed. But…..it wasn’t quite like new! This got me thinking about shaving and the Law of Diminishing Returns (LDR). I will digress briefly with an example not from the shaving world.
There’s a Greek restaurant in Montreal called Milos, specializing in fish and seafood (they also have a location in New York and one in Athens). It is ridiculously expensive. Many of my fellow Greeks won’t go there, refusing to pay such high prices for “something I can do at home just as well”. Yet, Milos is always packed. It apparently resists economic downturns, recessions, snowstorms, and sacred holidays….its always busy! Now, you can get food 90% as good as Milos’ at several other restaurants in the area…and for about half the price! But funny enough, its one of the few expensive places I go to (very occasionally) that I never regret the money spent….in fact, it always seems good value because it resets the bar of what really wonderful food (Greek or otherwise) can taste like. I’ve reflected on the Milos effect for some time and believe that it is a classic example of the Law of Diminishing Returns, i.e. “Incremental improvements become exponentially more expensive the closer you get to perfection”(my interpretation). Milos’ owner is, simply put, a fanatic. He (legend has it) has his own guy meet the fishing boats in Boston as they come in at 5 AM, selects the best fish, loads them in his truck and takes them to the airport on ice for shipping to Montreal. A Milos’ tomato salad in the middle of winter tastes like the tomatoes were just picked a few minutes ago from the garden. So, tomatoes in February are best in Guatemala…who cares…fly them in and charge $30 for a salad! But the taste…the taste!!!
There are people who enjoy squeezing every ounce of value from everything they buy, and I respect them. In many ways I envy them (I probably could have retired by now!). Then there are people who view life as short and unpredictable (remember, my dad died at 46 of an MI – we are all products of our “family drama”), so I prefer an LDR approach to life…if its worth doing…its worth doing as close to perfection as possible! So, I think I will return to my daily fresh blade and continue to explore shaving…on the edge! 🙂