What is Total Use Value and Why Should Photographers Care?
I first came across the concept of total use value when I was buying some hardware equipment. I was going to my home improvement store and I came across a machine that helps me cut a lot of materials at home very precisely. It turns out that the saw blade has a very limited life while the machine can last for decades. Now, this made me think about the whole concept of consumable portions of industrial machines as well as the total use that I should expect from those machines. When I put all these ideas together, it dawned on me that I was wasting a lot of money.
I’m the type of person who would buy something because it’s cheap. For example, I would buy an item for $10, use it only twice, and then call it a day. For me, that was a good bargain and I already got what I came for. I’m at peace with that decision, but boy am I foolish. If somebody bought something for $1000, but used it 1000 times, it means that I paid $5 per use while that person only paid $1 per use. That person actually got five times more value than I did. Do you see how this works?
Total use value flows from the fact that the usefulness or utility of something flows from how many times you use it. You will be able to solve a problem many times over in many different contexts if you can use a product that has many use instances in it. This is not always the case. Also, it helps if you can use the same product in many different ways. This goes a long way in boosting the overall use value of any one item.
That’s the power of total use value and this is a very handy concept to master. Once you get this idea stuck right in between your ears, you will be able to make better decisions, as far as your hard-earned dollars are concerned. Make no mistake. Photographers work hard for their money. Expert photography is no joke, whether you’re taking pictures at a wedding or whether you’re taking pictures at corporate events. It doesn’t really matter, you still have to earn your bread.
That is why you have to maximize every cent’s worth of value from the dollars that you earn. If you are completely unclear about total use value, it’s too easy to make the wrong choices. In fact, you really can’t make an informed choice because you’re focused more on the dollars and cents, instead of the actual value that you would get for every dollar you spent. So, understand how total use value works because photographers should care just as much as anybody else looking for any kind of product.