Monday, December 11, 2006

Did one of your gadgets die recently?

An interesting post on Wired, called "Gadgets built to fail".

Kris Wagner says:

Of course, no R&D department would ever admit to creating products that are intended to crash and burn. But I believe that, like humans, the PDA holding your business contacts and favorite songs has a preordained lifespan. It's simply a matter of when it will die.

Let's call it the buy-die-buy theory: Manufacturers design technology to fail so you're forced to upgrade regularly.

Eh ... I thought it was pretty obvious... People don't make money by selling you something that lasts forever. They make money by selling you stuff that is (a) addictive and (b) requires constant flow. Like drugs.

Or put it this way. If your current MP3 player, about the size of say your primary school eraser(you know, the ones with country flags that we used to play eraser wrestling with) , could last forever. Would you pay $150 to replace it with an MP3 player that's 2/3 of the size and holds twice the songs? (and presumably lasts forever too)

Well, maybe you might, because it's "cool". But that's the consumer myth, innit?

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