Popular Products

They are popular for a reason

July 5, 2023

Back when I wrote my article about what guns you should own I took some time to explain why you might want to consider some handguns that aren’t made by Glock, I did this because Glocks are the most recommended gun but when it comes to features there are other guns at the same price point that are better. I went into my reasoning for that back then so I don’t need to repeat it now, but I still stand by them. Does that mean I don’t think you should buy a Glock, or that you are just a blind follower of others if you do? No, you are free to buy and enjoy what you want and a lot of people who spend time on the internet or wherever judging people for liking popular things forget this, and more importantly if something is popular, especially something functional like a gun, there are good reasons why that are often ignored, dismissed, or worse unknown by the haters. Don’t be foolish like these people.

I was a Glock hater until recently, I still don’t think I’d spend five or six hundred bucks for a brand new one, and I still think that the people that claim that Glock is the only company that makes reliable handguns are talking about their rear end but I’ve also seen the light when it comes to Glocks. Their reliability and performance are unquestionable. You can pick up a used Glock from the 80s at a gun store for like $250 and you’ll have no problem finding holsters, magazines, and accessories for it and you can reasonably expect it to perform just as good as any similar handgun made today, there is no other gun that can match that. The only good reason to hate a Glock is if its grip angle is bad for you, and that isn’t something that applies to everyone. Ignoring the benefits of a Glock, and the reasons why it is the most popular handgun brand is stupid, I’m a little ashamed that I once was a Glock hater, and frankly I might start recommending them to people because for people that aren’t gun people (who would be the ones asking for a recommendation anyways) there isn’t a good reason not to.

But this isn’t meant to be an article all about Glocks, its about popular brands that are popular for people to hate. Apple, Toyota, Milwaukee, Snap-on, the stuff that is just seen as the default for plenty of people and activities. I’m sure many of you have hobbies and interests that I don’t share (or at least don’t know as much about) and you can think of brands that have similar reputations in those. There is often a reason why things are popular.

Let’s take a look at computers. When I started this website that was something that was important to me. I bought this domain soon after getting my first useable Thinkpad, it was a T420 and I later swithced to an X220. At the time I believed (ignoring their dated processors) that they were the best laptops you could get (if you didn’t care about video games of course). They had plenty of ports, they were durable, repairable, upgradable, had a removable battery, had a good keyboard all the things that modern laptops aren’t. But let’s take a look at it from a different angle.

The Lenovo Thinkpad X220 and the original Macbook Air came out in the same year, they had the same sized screen, had similar internal hardware, and a similar price. Which one of these laptops has stood the test of time? It wasn’t the Thinkpad. When was the last time you used a you ever had to repair or upgrade your laptop while it was still fairly young? Have you ever even needed to? Now have you ever felt burdened by the size and weight of your laptop? If you use something other than a Macbook Air or something that has tried to emulate it in some way the answer is probably yes. I spent years years judging people who used Macbook Airs and yet, looking at the practicality, I was the one with the inferior laptop. I didn’t have a real good reason to dislike Apple laptops (aside from software freedom which is not something I value as highly as I once did) I just blindly hated them because it was the popular thing to do. And now Apple makes arguably the best laptops on the market. If you asked me for a laptop recommendation your use case didn’t require something other than MacOs I’d tell you to get a new Macbook, and to be honest if I could do college over again one of the things I would do differently is use a Mac.

And take a look back at other Apple products. I have never seen someone honestly say that iPods were terrible, they were the best MP3 players on the market that’s just a fact nothing else came close. iPhones are undeniably the best smartphones for the tech illiterate, which is the majority of the population, that, along with the fact that they are well built luxurious phones, is why they are popular. I’m sure many of you could make the argument that some particular Android phones are better but would the average iPhone user care? No. Look at the Glock 19. Is it the world’s best handgun? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a really good one. There is nothing wrong with owning an iPhone, and sure Apple does make some dumb and overpriced products like the nerd goggles but hating everything with an Apple logo on it is stupid, there is no good reason for it and you should stop doing it. (And if you are going to email me with some rant about digital privacy, save your time, that is not a criticism exclusive to Apple it is a criticism of the entire industry and thus doesn’t apply here, it would be like trying to say that Burger King is better than MacDonald’s because MacDonald’s uses seed oils, Burger King does too).

Now Toyota is popular for quite a different reason than Apple and Glock. Toyota is not a premium brand, almost all of their cars are cheap and boring, that is the reason that back when I was a teenager I vowed never to drive one (along with the fact that they’re Japanese) and there are plenty of people who think the same way that teenage me did. But fast forward to today and I own what I believe to be one of the greatest cars ever made, the third generation Toyota 4Runner. What changed?

I drove a 1992 Cadillac Eldorado for quite a while, I enjoyed it, it was comfortable, had a V8, turned heads and what-not but it had its downsides too. It couldn’t really go off road, and I couldn’t fit big things in it. If I wanted to go skiing I needed to get someone else to give me a ride. But the biggest issue was that it broke down fairly often, especially in my last year of driving it. I was able to fix it each time but I got tired of doing it. What’s the point of owning a car if it doesn’t always run? I decided I needed a reliable car so I looked to Toyota, the gold standard of reliability.

Younger me didn’t understand the importance of reliability and that that was what Toyota was known for. If I hadn’t opened my mind to the idea of a Toyota and instead stayed a blind hater I’d probably still be driving something dumb and unreliable like a Jeep instead of something that I can count on.

I hope you see where I’m going with this by now, I mentioned brands like Milwaukee and Snap-On, I’ve never seen anyone try to argue that they are bad in any way but I have seen plenty of people complain about how expensive they are. Milwaukee is considered by many to be the Apple of the trades world because it is expensive and it seems like there is a negative connotation whenever something is the Apple of any world. But with the price comes quality, if the price offends you then odds are you don’t need a tool that high quality, I have cheaper tools because I don’t use them enough to justify the high cost, but I know plenty who do and they almost always swear by brands like Milwaukee (Makita and Dewalt are of a similar price and quality) and I can’t argue with that because it would be foolish to tell someone they’d be better off with a lower quality tool.

You really shouldn’t hate popular brands that offer functional products, these brands are often popular for a reason and you are not better than the millions of people who love them and nothing you say is going to change the fact that they are quality products.

Some of you may have read this and concluded that I am a shill or a sell-out because I’ve defended and/or promoted these brands now, a younger me would think this was all sacrilege. I haven’t sold out, that would require these companies to have paid me, I’ve matured and realized that it does not matter what computer a person uses, what car they drive, what gun they shoot, or what tools they use as long as they are happy with them without feeling like they are lacking. If you unconditionally hate any of these brands, or similar ones that offer popular quality products, then you are in a cult deeper than the people who use those Apple mice that charge from the bottom.