CU Water Cooler

Just Make Things Better

William AzaroffComment

We have an oven. It came with the house.

It’s a decent oven—by no means state of the art—but it works and keeps a consistent temperature. It is, however, the kind of oven that someone might buy right before putting their house on the market and not the kind of oven one might buy to use for 10 years.

Recently, the digital keypad started peeling, and the “2” stopped working. We’re living with it, but it’s annoying. Let’s say we need to bake something for 20 minutes, we need to set the timer for 19 minutes and 59 seconds.

I can’t believe it, but we’re discussing replacing the oven, whose mechanics work just fine because of a stupid broken “2”.

When the oven manufacturer created (or outsourced the creation of) the buttons, they could have made them more durable. Instead, they made a fancy digital display that couldn’t handle the kind of sticky-fingered, hot, steamy and somewhat messy environment of an oven and stovetop. 

Here’s a thought: If you’re going to improve things, moving from an old-fashioned oven to a modern oven for example, make them better all-around. Don’t make something look fancier or more modern or more aesthetically pleasing, just make things better.


William Azaroff lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is Director, Business & Community Development at Vancitya values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its 500,000 member-owners and their communities. William leads a team who work with local businesses, not-for-profits, social enterprises and co-operatives that contribute to a vibrant, sustainable, inclusive local economy, and engage Vancity's members and the public around their Good Money™ brand.