There’s been an article making the rounds about how ensuring you get “The Best” option when acquiring “things” results in an implicit trust in them… which is liberating. The “Best” in this context is not necessarily the most expensive; but the best designed, the most fit for purpose.
“The Best Should Result in Less” builds on this by adding two points; this is not a decision made so you look good to others, and this actually results in fewer purchases over time.
This has stuck with me as I’ve recently been thinking about consumerism; and indeed being accused of engaging in it myself, since I’m usually among to first to jump on a new iDevice or DSLR camera.
I want to postulate that when it comes to technology, The Best Is Yet To Come. The “best” phone or computer now, will not be the best in two years time. Not only because technology itself evolves, but the uses we have for such devices evolve alongside them and our expectations are raised accordingly.
Geeks are the frontrunners for these new uses (think iTunes Match, AppleTV, photo retouching), which will trickle down into general society only after a few years, so we’re acutely sensitive of the capabilities of new technology over and beyond the previous generation.
So my attitude to acquiring technology is this; purchase when newly released, extract maximum usage and then when it is clearly superseded (which is now two product cycles for computers and phones, and one for pro-level DSLRs) upgrade immediately and sell the older tech while it still has maximum resale value.
(For instance, the iPhone 5. I upgraded fairly close to launch day from a 4 (not 4S), so I was out of contract. I have to stick on the same plan for my usage, so it was a no brainer when I could still sell the 4 for $300. So I was actually ahead on that one.
Ditto for the Canon 5D3. I bought some of the first stock into the country, and was able to sell the 5D2, which had been heavily used, for only $200 less than they cost *new* just 3 months later.
And I don’t buy new tech just for the sake of it. I still have the same LCD TV I bought refurbished 6 years ago. As to ovens, microwaves, washing machines who could only be loosely be considered “technology” anymore… if a company would actually design one with an accessible user interface; I’ll be first in line. Until then, only when they die.