Perception of Value is Situational

crepesWhen you make pancakes, do you want them perfect? Perfect in taste? Perfect in texture? Perfect in shape? Who wouldn’t, right? When I cook, I want my creations to be pleasing to my audience (usually my family). Even on cooking shows, there’s a segment which helps home cooks make their creations look more professional — i.e. more perfect.

As I was looking to buy a crepe-maker (non-electric), I read a bunch of reviews for all kinds of gadgets that promised a perfect crepe. One of the important criteria was the perfection of shape — a good crepe is circular, implying that a badly made crepe has irregular borders. There were all kids of clever inventions that helped the home cook achieve this circular perfection — molds, rakes, squeeze bottles, etc. At the end of my research, I got it — my crepes better be circular!

But in others circumstances, this perfection of shape has a complete opposite perception of value. If you are buying frozen, pre-made crepes, then perfectly circular shapes signals “factory-made” or “made by robots” or “cookie-cutter crepes”. All of these are now derogatory things — who would want to eat crepes made by a machine? Untouched by human hands? I want mine to be made with love!

And so understanding the human need to see imperfections in the store-bought crepes and pancakes, factories order their product forms with bits of imperfection built-in. The pancakes made in a factory, are made with un-circular forms, to give them that “home-made” look!

So if you know the providence of your crepe, then a perfect circle can signify either “made by a great chef” or “made by a robot”.