We’ve all been there. Your child wins a “free” goldfish at a school fair, and now it’s going to cost you. You soon find yourself spending $50 for a tank, filter, unsightly rainbow-colored gravel, and food. Since you now have a significant investment, if “Goldie” dies, you’ll likely replace it (late at night after Junior goes to bed). Now, if you’re buying a 10 cent goldfish, you’re probably not worried about getting a replacement fish or your money back if this one dies too.

Nevertheless, you are subject to Simon’s 1st Law of Aquariums: Fish from a pet store come with no guarantee. Recently, I took up a new hobby—a saltwater aquarium. I was shy of the cost until I found the entire tank and filter system on Craig’s List for $500, but it’s now entirely my risk on the purchase. Not personally certified yet in saltwater tank installation, I made one smart decision and paid the previous owner to set it up in my living room. Setting up a 215-gallon (814-liter) tank was no small undertaking. I have no idea how big some of these fish might get, so I knew I wanted a big tank with enough room for them to grow.

 I could have paid $8,000 for a professionally-installed aquatic infrastructure to support my fish, but I couldn’t justify that because even those come with no guarantee. Sure, they’ll guarantee that the pumps will run, it won’t leak and the glass won’t break for a period of a year; however, no one will guarantee the fish. And aren’t the fish really what’s important? Aren’t they what bring value to my home and family? They need to be protected. Since day one of operation, I’ve easily spent about that much again on fish and other amenities. I have a few small $5 fish, a couple of $10 sea stars and several $20 corals. Then, I have some $40 fish—the ones whose vibrant colors really bring the aquarium to life.

This brings me to Simon’s 2nd Law of Aquariums: The price of the fish is inversely proportional to its lifespan. That’s good news for you goldfish owners, but may be very bad news for me. So, herein lies the rub—regardless of the price of the fish, there is absolutely no guarantee. The pet store simply can’t guarantee that your aquarium will support the fish, even if they install it and maintain it. Therefore, I’m on my own.

What if I could find a fish store that guarantees all the hardware will work flawlessly for 20 years, AND also guarantee that anything I put in the environment will survive and flourish, delivering years of enjoyment? Now that would have value—that would be worth paying for. Unfortunately, in the world of saltwater aquariums, that simply doesn’t exist.

Fortunately, in CommScope’s World of Network Infrastructure, it does—allowing our customers to deliver the design, speed, and intelligence they need to take their business further. Now that’s a warranty you can trust!

About the Author

Simon Cowley

Simon C. Cowley is director of campus fiber market development for CommScope.  In this role, he is responsible for developing unique and comprehensive solutions for the office and campus workplace environment covering copper, fiber, wireless, and power technologies. Simon previously led CommScope’s Enterprise Solutions Global Technical Support team since 2006.  He also served as director of apparatus R&D for copper, fiber, and intelligent systems and fiber optic engineering manager since joining CommScope in 2001. Before joining Commscope, he served in various engineering, business development, and management capacities with Amphenol Fiber Optics, ITT Cannon, and FCI/Berg Electronics. Simon is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix.

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