Keeping Your Old Products, New

Another catchup post.  Earlier this month, Fred Wilson posted a thesis on segmenting the future path of customer technology.  Cheap, and shorter lifespan (because customers find it affordable to replace on a shorter timetable), technologies such as the phone are where innovation can be transmitted to a customer faster.  Expensive, and thus longer held technologies, like a TV or a car, are “dumb” because the “state of the art” moves a number of cycles during the object’s lifespan. Given this, logically markets should move in the direction, where the “cheap” technologies make the “expensive” technologies smarter, or looking at it another way, where old products are kept perpetually new and current by the use of cheaper products which we can upgrade more often.  As Fred puts it:

When smart and cheap devices can take control of expensive and dumb devices, we will see the dumb devices become smart.

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