Skip to main content

Unnecessary necessities

  • Toothbrushes
  • Doorknobs
  • Google
  • Toilet paper

Here’s an exercise for you: Go to Google. Type in, “The three necessities of life.” What’s the first result? I’ll save you the keystrokes—unlike most searches, the first result doesn’t link to a website. The answer’s so obvious that Google provides one for you. Food, (including water), shelter, and clothing. No matter what culture, time era, or religion, everyone agrees that in life, these are the absolute three necessities of survival. Without food and water, you die.  Without shelter or clothing to protect you from the elements, guess what, you die.

Toothbrushes. Do you want clean teeth? Want to ever make it to a second kiss with an intended significant other? Want to chew food past age 50 without the need for extensive dental work? Then yes, toothbrushes are a necessity. Not for survival, but for things we all find pretty important. You could say that toothbrushes are an unnecessary necessity.

Doorknobs. Have a door? Do you want to be in control of when it opens and closes? More importantly, who can walk through it? Yeah, we all do—you guessed it, unnecessary necessity.

Google. How old was Reagan when he died? What was the Spice Girls’ best-selling single? How many degrees Fahrenheit is 10 degrees Celsius? Prior to Google, these answers may have taken some time to uncover. But like every other human walking the face of the Earth, unanswered questions drive me nuts, as does wasting more time than need be. #unnecessarynecessity

Toilet paper. ‘Nuff said.

I think I’ve made my point. Just because it’s not necessary to survival, doesn’t mean it’s not necessary to your needs, priorities, career, etc., right now. These are your personal necessities. Now, not everyone’s personal necessities are the same. But some would argue for the vast majority, there are many examples where the majority would agree are their personal necessities. Most Americans would probably agree that all of the above, while not necessary for life, is necessary to your life.

The suspense is killing you, right? Data? Email? Is it time now? Okay, here we go.

What’s the point of business data? What does it consist of and used for? How does it affect your day-to-day business and the outcome of your objectives? The answers vary across the board, except for one thing: If the data is being collected, it’s safe to say it’s important. If it’s important, then one could deduce that false data would be not only problematic, but potentially disastrous (think: medical records). Now I’m not saying that emails are as important as what medications a patient is allergic to; however, if the success of your marketing strategy, and in turn, sales strategy are dependent upon email and you have no insight into their validity, you best have a doctor standing by.

Basic logic: emails are a crucial part of your business. Be it a marketer, debt collector, online receipt generator, you get the point. Just how crucial it is varies. But it’s safe to say that most businesses have practices that depend on email.

If you’re an online retailer, emails are a necessity of life…to your business. If you have a lemonade stand, wouldn’t you want to make sure the lemons you pick aren’t rotten, considering they are a necessity to the life of your lemonade stand?

Why chance it?