Monday, June 8, 2009

Planned Obsolescense Is Not A Marketing Technique!

I've never really been inspired to write a blog entry so quickly after I hear something, but the newly released info on the new iPhone has inspired the heck out of me.

When I was in computer sales, I really was at a disadvantage - I knew too much. I knew that the printer that I sold that customer wouldn't be around in a couple years and stuff would have changed so much they would need to buy another one. I knew that the laptop that I sold the other customer would be in need of several upgrades, both internal and external within the next year or so. Mind you, I'm not stupid, I didn't turn any customers away, but I was honest with them, and many of them appreciated it.

What's that got to do with the iPhone? Technically, nothing. But a lot, at the same time. Its nothing in relation to the products themselves, even though an iphone is pretty much a computer in itself.

I hate that companies will make a product, knowing full well that within 6 months to a year or so, they'll be putting out another one that's bigger, smaller, faster, lighter, whatever, as long as its better. I hate that they'll make a huge deal out of it, like they made some sort of gigantor discovery that made the new one necessary. Its like you're calling your current customers suckers for daring to buy your product. "hey, remember that cool thingy you paid $499 for six months ago? You can now get it for $99, and this new one that's so much better than yours is now $399!!!! Don't you want to buy it? You know you do! Come buy it!!"

And people do. Just like people pay all the overcharges for concert tickets, and every other thing that the market will put out.

Look - I'm all for making money, shit, its what I do, I'm in sales. But the joy over making something new so quickly after making it in the first place has got to go. I'm all for letting me know that this or that product now does something else, or does what it did but better. But its not worth a major event.

I'm not going to tell you not to buy anything new, because that's not my point, and I'm not here to tell you what to do. Unless I end up working for AT&T, Cingular, or Apple, I'm not gonna fall for it. If you want to buy the new one, cool, do that. If you want to buy the new one and you just got the last one, just think about it, that's all.


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