Mark Hurrell.


The opportunity to buy something better

09 October 2011

When I was a kid, my first printer was an Epson dot matrix, hooked up to a Tandy 1000. While it could only print two fonts, serif and san serif, it was as reliable as a tank. I bet if it were still around, it would still be running. At that time home printing technology progressed at such a fast rate, that the Epson became obsolete before it broke down. I believe this rapid progression in performance influenced a commoditization in the printer market. No one wanted to invest in a home printer when a higher resolution, faster, quieter one was just a few months away.

Today, the resolution and speed of printers have relatively plateaued. I asked a group of IT professionals if I could buy a printer that would last several years? I figured I could spend up to maybe $500. If it would last me five years, it would cost $100 per year. Which is less than I had spent over the past five years on new printers that broke every 18 months or so. I was willing to invest up front if it meant preventing wasting materials on more printers down the road. Unfortunately, according to my cabal of IT experts, it didn’t exist. The market has stopped producing a printer that will last. There was no company like Icon, making the sturdiest printer in the world.

Michael DiTullo, Design Mind

This article doesn’t even mention Apple. Doesn’t have to.

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