The buy-die-buy theory 22 Dec 2006
Over the past year we've talked a lot about "uninnovation" - the process of taking a product with existing features that customers would enjoy, spending extra time and money to remove those features, and then marketing the sub-par product without providing the consumer with alternatives. Now we learn of a connected practice from Wired News:
"Someday, much sooner than you'd like, that shiny new toy you just bought will break. When it happens, you'll swear, you'll cry - then you'll sigh and open your wallet. You've been here before, with the jammed Walkman, the DOA answering machine, the fritzed digicam, the blue screen of death...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."
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