““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
On Buying Jets...and Kitchen Faucets
I’ve always been one to deliberate carefully before spending money, but I might not have labeled myself an obsessive shopper until the day, several years ago, when I went looking for a new kitchen faucet.
Knowing that my family and I would have to live with this faucet for some time, I’d already spent well over an hour pondering the many available features and hundreds of competing products. Did we want a single- or dual-handle model? How about a motion-sensing faucet that would turn itself on and off? What sort of sprayer? Should we opt for stainless steel, brushed aluminum, nickel-plated, bronze or brass? How about a soap dispenser? Which brand had the best reputation? And was a $400 faucet really any better than a $200 one or just twice the price?
To answer such questions and narrow down the long list of options, I’d done some online research, called my handy-around-the-house brother for advice and made one trip each to Home Depot and a local plumbing supply store. Now I was back at Home Depot, having reduced the field to a few finalists. I’d been standing by the faucet display for about 15 minutes, studying the fine print on boxes about warranties, water efficiency and installation procedures, when a couple walked up behind me.
“Hey, don’t we need a new faucet?” said the man.
“We do,” said the woman. “How about this?” She pointed to a box.
“Sure,” said the man, picking it up.
And away they went.
Maybe their decision wouldn’t prove quite as good as mine, or maybe it would. In any event, I suspect this incident helps to explain why I often seem to have less free time than my friends.
Remembering that experience today, all I can think is, “Thank God I’m not in a position to shop for a business jet.” I’d probably be dead before I’d be ready to take off.
Of course, you don’t have to be as neurotic a shopper as I am to be overwhelmed by the task of buying an aircraft. Unlike kitchen faucets, airplanes involve large sums and important decisions and really do require serious consideration. You have to think about insurance, financing, cabin completion or refurbishment, electronics, residual value and more. The ramifications of your choices could be huge.
That’s why Business Jet Traveler created its annual Buyers’ Guide, which delivers authoritative advice on all of this, plus directories of business aircraft models, a report on the major manufacturers and other essential information. The guide, which appears each July, has been popular with readers since we launched it in 2008. Moreover, it has been a four-time winner in the Best Buyers’ Guide category in the annual editorial competition sponsored by the American Society of Business Publication Editors.
So if you’re in the market for a business jet, be sure to check out our just-published Buyers’ Guide for 2013. But don’t call me for advice—at least not if you’re hoping to make a decision about a jet sometime in the current century.