|Re: always cracks me up|
Message #8 Posted by bill platt on 11 July 2003, 10:41 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Norm
I have an "observed wisdom" concept which the other day I mentioned to someone, who said they thought exactly the same thing on their own.
The idea is simple: Approximately 10 years after a new "technology" or product type (e.g. VCR, CD player, handheld computer, weed wacker, plutonium beta decay powered hedge trimmer etc) has been introduced, you will reach the pinnacle of that product in terms of quality value for the dollar. The item may get less expensive from there on, but its lifespan or quality will reduce. Before 10 years, you have all sorts of problems or issues that really need to be improved.
The basic idea is that in the lifecycle of a product, you go from a rapid improvement phase, with rising sales, to a more mature phase, where the rate of increase in sales is levelling off. At this time, your corporate resouces have also been growing to meet the demands created by the development phase. So, when the sales growth rate flattens (with sales still rising of course) then the company looks to trim costs, because it is natural to think that (1) we should be able to maintain the same profit per unit, and (2) it sure would be nice to avoid laying off lots of people just yet...so we better cut costs--or, can we "minimize" or "optimise" (and they are not the same thing...).
So, that is why the 1980's HP caclulators are so valuable--and so cherished by us. Voyager, Pioneer, even the 41 (almost---someone-argue this one!) are at the pinnacle. We see the quality falling off already in the Pioneers--but higher reliability so they are "better". Look at the "classics" and "Woodstocks" and "Spices" and you find some really great early "built like a tank" features but you also find certain weaknesses....2 disease......