Cincinnati Post editor says we only have to launch every 18 months…

070911 An opinion editor with the Cincinnati Post has come to the rescue to inform us that we must follow Moore’s Law when it comes to launching new products. Thank goodness he’s is around to set the record straight. Here is the article in its full glory…

Retail obsolescence

Apple CEO Steve Jobs seems to have stumbled upon an important new economic metric for our technology crazed age. There are always buyers who want to be the first with the latest, and they are an important market because they will pay a premium to do so. And now, thanks to Jobs, we now know there is a measurable correlation between that premium and the time the product remains exclusive. The absolute outside limit of desirability for a new technology product has long been believed to be 18 months based on Moore’s Law, propounded by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, that computer processing power doubles every 18 months - and Moore had to scale that back from his original time frame of two years. Somewhere in that time line between the day of the product launch and 18 months is the ideal time for a tech company to strike with a premium-priced new product, when the so-called “early adopters” are becoming jaded with the old device and increasingly anxious that somewhere, somebody else is even now buying something way more cool. Apple introduced its new iPhone, basically your entire life in a handheld device, at the end of June at $599, and around 1 million customers bought them. On Wednesday, Apple announced it was cutting the price to $399 and, moreover, discontinuing its cheaper four-gigabyte model, because who wants four when you can have eight? IPhone owners were outraged. Apple had miscalculated the zone of exclusivity. Although Jobs accurately if heartlessly told them that somebody always misses the date when the price is cut, Apple nonetheless offered iPhone owners a $100 store credit or a $200 refund if they had bought their iPhone within the last two weeks. The losers with the four-gigabyte model can get a full refund. Some cynics suggested this was all a shrewd ruse to get proven customers back in the stores as the holiday shopping season gets under way, but, as Jobs said, the “technology road is bumpy.” Maybe Apple simply hit one.
Is this guy smoking crack? It would appear that the editor is really a pissed off iPhone owner and wants to inform the world (or at least the citizenry of Cincinnati and northern Kentucky) of the “unjust” practices of Apple. Please. What a moron. Here’s another example of a supposed “expert” distorting Moore’s Law. If I had the luxury of waiting at least 18 months to introduce new products in my career I’d have a lot less gray hair. Can you imagine what little innovation would occur if new products were launched no sooner than every 18 months? We’d still be using WordPerfect on character based PCs. Steve Jobs hasn’t “stumbled upon” a new economic metric, this has been the norm in technology for over 25 years. Keep up with the class.
David Daniels

David Daniels

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