More on Obsolete Technologies

30 August 2012 at 3:22 pm 3 comments

| Peter Klein |

Following up an earlier post on the longevity of obsolete technologies, as specialty markets: Francesco Schiavone has a nice paper, “Vintage Innovation: How to Improve the Service Characteristics and Costumer Effectiveness of Products becoming Obsolete,” reviewing the core theory and discussing the case of the analog turntable (little did I know, not being a club DJ, that you can by a “vinyl emulator” to go wacka-wacka-wacka on your MP3s). Francesco’s Vintage Innovation website has more examples. Check it out!

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Innovation, Management Theory, Strategic Management.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mikemarotta  |  31 August 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Jane Jacobs made this point in The Economy of Cities, taking Joseph Schumpeter to task, though not by name. She said that older technologies (she called them “forms”) do not disappear, but are adapted and adopted into new expressions. Those who made brass parts for bridles, made brass fittings for machineries.

    As for the specifics here, from horses to fountain pens, just about every antique has its aficianados.

    Consider that to be a state-licensed “antique” an automobile need only be 25 years old. It is not uncommon to find Cessna 152s still in service; and I once flew a Boeing Stearman older than I am. Though, of course, for a mere $3 million to $5 million, you have a brand new single engine jet from Honda. … cheap when you think about… and any horse-owner will tell you that they can pour that into a horse over a lifetime, hauling it to shows, getting medicals; feed, ferriers, etc,; it all adds up. It is not an accident that the Olympic gold for equestrians went to Saudi Arabia.

    ThinkGeek is just one catalog that sells analog turntables with a USB plug.

  • 2. Allan Walstad  |  2 September 2012 at 7:07 am

    I just wish our new classroom had a half-decent blackboard, and that the PowerPoint console wasn’t obstructing it.

  • 3. mikemarotta  |  4 September 2012 at 8:18 am

    In graduate school, 2009, I had a class in international financial systems and the professor was my age, close to retirement. He used overheads and his handwriting was horrible. It was hard to tell the L-pound sign from the $-dollar sign. Someone asked a question and he went to the blackboard and his writing was clear and crisp, the symbols obvious.

    The other thing about the blackboard is you need the lights on, and so, fewer people fall asleep, and you can make good eye contact.

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