Here is a nice cut-glass hand-made crystal glass.
And here is a paper cup.
Which one is the quality product?
The answer is: they are both are (unless of course, the paper cup is a failed crystal glass – or vice versa!)
The paper cup was meant to be a paper cup. The crystal glass was meant to be a crystal glass. They were both meant to be like that. You might like one better in some circumstances than the other (entertaining guests, for example), but on other occasions you might prefer the other (walking in the hills, for example).
So quality fundamentally lies in the product or service specification: it is nothing to do with any individual’s personal taste (though of course – vitally – the customer’s preferences should be built into, and shape the specification).
So we cannot claim something is a quality product unless we know the specification it should be compared with. All we can say is ‘we like it (or not).’
So quality really depends on two things: what it’s intended purpose is; and whether it is exactly as the specification intended. And two important point follow from this: firstly – no specification, no real measure of quality; and whoever owns the specification – determines quality.
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