The value of a non-reviewer’s perspective

Sometimes, I hear something and I find the need to consider what my thoughts are on a particular subject. This is one of those times.

In the first seven minutes of the episode 242 of the AppStories Podcast. Federico said:

“You wouldn’t want to read/or watch a review by someone who is not a professional reviewer. It wouldn’t be enjoyable.”

I understand Federico’s perspective. He is writes reviews for a living and over the years I have found value in his review. I recall discovering the 2Do task manager from his review.

I agree, a review from a person who does not write for a living may not be enjoyable. However, I strongly disagree with the first sentence. I frequently seek reviews written by people who are not professional reviewers. This is because their unique perspective is important to me. I do not necessarily read a review because I am seeking enjoyment out of it. In most cases, I am attempting to make a purchasing decision and for this reason, I prefer a review from someone who is going to use the device in a non-professional reviewer’s settings.

For example, the iPad Mini is advertised as a companion to pilots. Therefore, if I am a pilot, I would prefer to read a pilot’s review of the new iPad Mini:

  • How the pilot uses it?
  • What apps they use?
  • What are the shortcomings for their use case?
  • Is it a significant improvement over what they were using previously?

A few years ago, I was inspired to write a book and based on Matt Gemmell’s recommendation, I discovered Ulysses. He explained why he is using Ulysses and how he structures his novels. This was valuable insight which a professional reviewer, who is not a published author, cannot provide.

Sometimes I would consume a review for enjoyable purposes only. Drone reviews are a perfect example of this.

MacStories publishes an in-depth review of iOS every year. Many people enjoy it and look forward to it. It's well written and informative. I, for one, find those reviews rather long. I am time poor. This year, I found the concise iOS review done by The Verge to be a better fit for me. Both reviews were read widely and there are audience for both types of reviews. I just happen to prefer one over the other.

The fundamental point of this post is to encourage people to write their reviews of the products and software they use, from their unique perspective. Because, despite what professional reviewers say, I for one certainly appreciate it and find it of incredible value and sometimes, also enjoy it. I can and do say the exact same thing of any review regardless of who wrote it.

Hold on... there’s more