Friday, February 16, 2007

Cheap stuff that doesn't work: are we figuring this out?

I don't think Apple has particularly good quality assurance. They do, however, have an incredibly strong brand and rabid and demanding user base --- including macintouch. I can wait until the base sorts the flops from the goodies, and then buy with reasonable expectations. Sure, I can still be burned by idiotic proprietary connectors, but at least I don't buy the world's most painful phone or a dysfunctional alarm clock.

Most of the world's gizmos, however, don't come from Apple, Canon, Bose, Nikon, or any other company with a reputation to manage (are there any others?). They come from companies like SONY, Dell, and a large variety of fake brands (Zenith, etc) used by transient contract manufacturers. Some of the stuff works for a while, a heck of a lot doesn't. It mostly ends up in massive piles of toxic junk, and irretrievable hours of lost lifetime. It's a con job, and we've been unbelievably slow to catch on.

Today, though, an unlikely voice of rebellion arose within the very home of the enemy -- Gizmodo (emphases mine):
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Spank Us All for Supporting Crap - Gizmodo

....Stop buying this crap. Just stop it. You don't need it. Wait a year until the reviews come out and the other suckers too addicted to having the very latest and greatest buy it, put up a review, and have moved on to something else. Stop buying broken products and then shrugging your shoulders when it doesn't do what it is supposed to. Stop buying products that serve any other master than you. Use older stuff that works. Make it yourself. Only buy new stuff from companies that have proven themselves good servants of their customers in the past. Complaining online about this stuff helps, but really, just stop buying it...
The first step in our rehab is to restore the importance of brands with reputations. There are a few left -- buy from them. Our time is not a commodity.

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