January 27, 2007
There‚Äôs a company out in the market that has the motto Expect More. Off the top of my head (as I sit here at the local National Tire and Battery location waiting for my car to be serviced) I can‚Äôt think of which company that is. But I agree with the sentiment wholeheartedly.
When I traded in my gas-guzzling Jeep for my Scion xA, I did expect more. I expected a car that would deliver 32-36MPG, a fairly maintenance-free vehicle, and a driving experience that was quieter and more youthful.
Two years later I can grin a little and say that I‚Äôve gotten that in spades.
I used to barrel along the highway getting about 19MPG in a lumbering beast that‚Äôs greatest benefit was its four-wheel-drive and extra interior space. But the space was only excess for belongings ‚Äì people got mashed if they had to sit in the back seat making my Cherokee an oversized two seater.
In my new car people are comfy wherever they sit with plenty of legroom and headroom. The car handles well, has really good road visibility and with global warming hasn‚Äôt had to plow through much snow in the two years I‚Äôve owned it.
While the xA isn‚Äôt much bigger than a Lark or a Rascal scooter, it does have some pep and has been designed with proper thought for ergonomics and convenience.
I wish more things were designed correctly instead of being rushed to market just because of good margins and corporate pressure and promises.
Take for instance the Blue-Ray DVD player. On the face of it, Blue-Ray technology is a godsend. Room for 50GB of data on a single dvd-sized disk is a dream come true for computer users and entertainment buffs alike. Imagine backing up your photos and/or music ‚Äì or even your favorite Bowl of Cheese podcasts ‚Äì to a single disk. That‚Äôs the coolest.
But now imagine paying $1100 for just the player. I don‚Äôt even know how much the recorder will cost. Further, the Blue-Ray maker ‚Äì Sony ‚Äì has refused to allow certain movie segments to use their technology to sell films. One in particular is the adult movie industry.
I‚Äôm not a lewd and lascivious person. I don‚Äôt really watch porn and can‚Äôt imagine purchasing it, but when it comes to the economics of home entertainment, porn is a huge financial driver.
Quoting a Yahoo News article by Brian Gardiner of Extreme Tech, ‚Äúthe U.S. adult-film industry, at around $12 billion in annual sales, rentals, and cable charges in 2006, is an even grander and more efficient moneymaking machine than legitimate mainstream American cinema (the latter’s annual gross came in at $9 billion for 2006).‚Äù
And Gardiner makes the same point I had it mind, that the fate that befell Beta technology is on the horizon for Blue-Ray.
So why are people selling it? They don‚Äôt know any better, they get a kickback or a huge margin from Sony or they just don‚Äôt want to buck the trend.
The same people who are stocking Blue-Ray are the ones who got excited about the Zune because they didn‚Äôt think the margins from Apple items were high enough. And they were the same people who pooh-poohed MP3 technology until it was in everything from alarm clocks to watches.
This ramble probably has less to do with fixing my car (it cost $622 by the way) or expecting more (and that company is Target by the way, not a car company). It‚Äôs about people having some common sense and sticking to it.
Don‚Äôt put up with crap that people push to market, make smarter decisions about what you buy and you might just be able to finally look around at the results of what happen when you do expect more.