Zia Hassan

Five Stars

+++ title = “01” date = 2019 +++

So many services use the five star review. It’s an interesting way of judging work that you’ve consumed, and also an interesting way to compare work that you are thinking about consuming.

I used to look up one-star reviews of classic kids books, ones that are accepted as amazing, just to see what people would say in a one-star review of, say, Goodnight Moon.

But a number of stars can’t quite capture an experience. A five star review might make us think that the company being reviewed delivered their promise, a full experience, something magical.

A one-star review might make us think that the experience was miserable, and that the buyer will never return for more.

Until you look at the actual words of the review. Many of the one-star reviews of Goodnight Moon, for instance, are about quality control, not the actual story. Sometimes the book arrived later than the buyer thought it would, and thus, there’s a one-star review.

What’s the difference between a 3-star and 4-star review? Or a 2-star and 3-star review? In a 2-star review of a hotel, the three missing stars might be the thing that the buyer wanted desperately but the company couldn’t offer, something like a fancy free breakfast. And that thing might be small beans to another reviewer, who had a similar experience but gave the company 4 stars.

Online reviews represent how much the product met the demands of the buyer (unless it’s consistent). And since everyone’s demands and needs are different, a product with a 2-star rating might be satisfactory for some, and might check all their boxes.

Some of the most life changing books and albums in my life have one-star reviews. I’m betting that some of your favorites do, too.

You can judge a book by its cover, because we all do that. But don’t judge a book based on its review stars. You might miss something life changing.