When something is simple, it just works.

You don’t need to get every input correct. Configure every setting a certain way. There are not a bunch of unnecessary steps to get started. It just works. 

Sometimes, we think we need something more than what works. We think, why not get the better version? It can do more stuff!

But does it just work?

A Brief History of My Coffee Machines

Like many people, I have a mild coffee addiction. I drink around 2-3 cups a day. Usually one cup first thing when I get up, and then two more at work throughout the morning. To feed this addiction, it’s important that I have coffee available each and every day.

I’ve bought a number of coffee machines in the last 10 years. At least three of them were Keurig machines. The revolutionary coffee machines that are single-serve, and busted their way into the home appliance world in the mid-2000’s.

The Keurig was the definition of better. No longer were we confined to the old drip coffee machines. You could now take a plastic pod, put it into the Keurig, and boom! out comes your single hot cup of coffee 45 seconds later.

My first Keurig machine was great! It did cost more, but that was a price I was willing to pay for better. I’d load up my pods on my fancy pod rack, and quickly deplete them throughout the week to get my coffee.

It was all fun and games until one day it stopped working. I tried cleaning it, but to no avail. It just didn’t want to heat correctly anymore. I sadly had to replace that Keurig machine with another, a quick $99 transaction.

One year later… another Keurig coffee machine failure.

By the time I was in search of the next replacement machine, they had released what seemed like an endless list of different model options to choose from. Pro, Platinum, Classic, Select. Ranging in price from $75 – $200.

I looked through the feature list. Do I need one that has different heating temperatures? What about an LCD screen? Built in filters? What about getting my coffee in multiple languages!?

Thankfully the absurdity of the situation hit me. I just need some fucking coffee!

So I ordered a small 4 cup Mr. Coffee drip brewer. $16. The initial and ongoing costs have been much less, it hasn’t failed yet, and it just works. It makes my coffee.

Function, Not Features

You save money, time, and sanity by looking for functional needs instead of features. It allows you to find products that “just work”, instead of having products that have extra features.

As more extra features are introduced, it creates more fail points and raises the price.

Cars, TVs, appliances, and software all commonly fall victim to the more is better mentality. These items are common place in our lives, and consequently are often areas of frustration when they don’t just work.

As a consumer, look for brands that create products that focus on form and function. Buy from companies that make products for a purpose – to work.


  1. Rita
    December 3, 2017

    I smiled when I read this because I too went through this exact same scenario recently and reverted back to a very cheap 5 cup drip coffee maker about 6 months ago when my keurig wouldn’t work. The new coffee maker takes up less room on my counters, is quieter than the keurig and because of it’s simplicity may never stop working and even if it does, the cost to use ratio is much less. Not to mention, less waste on the environment.

    • James
      December 4, 2017

      Glad to hear I’m not alone! Excellent point on the environmental impact as well.

  2. Tony Wanless
    December 18, 2017

    The entire concept of paying $100 for a fancy machine that makes coffee, and creates millions of plastic pollutants that never degrade and foul up the earth — and then needs to be replaced every year is entirely stupid. Keep it simple.

    • James
      December 18, 2017

      Ha! It’s an entirely stupid concept… but also very normalized.


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