Planned Obsolescence: The case for designing services with limited shelf life
Paul Taylor
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You mention planned obsolescence being good for innovation and allowing us to clear the path for new ways, services, and ideas. I could not imagine a world where the built in self destruction of devices was more widespread and accepted. The problem with society is not that we lack innovations and services, the opposite is actually true. We have a plethora, an excess, of services and innovation enough to feed every mouth on earth. The problem is not with a lack of innovation, services, or technology, but rather a failure in our ability to optimize and implement those things effectively.

I could not name on one hand the number of planned obsolescence goods that are designed to fail with the best interest of humanity or the average customer. The simplest answer is usually the truest, and that is that it is being done with the intent to maximize profits at the expense of the consumer, the economy, and the environment.

Do some companies need planned obsolescence to exist? Yes. If you make a product that lasts 50 years, you’re going to be out of business soon. But do you truly believe that every, or even most, companies execute planned obsolescence with the balance of bringing innovation to the customer, and the understanding that all resources on earth are limited ? I don’t believe you do.

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