Consumerism

Jeremy Clarkson once explained “consumerism” in a way I had never thought of the word.

You see he owned / owns a Range Rover. When he was buying it, it was one of the hottest cars in the market, top in tech, features and specs. Everyone wanted one but only the best, the so called cream of the crop could have them.

But then with time, a new Range Rover came out and the old Range Rover was no longer the “in” thing. That left the owners of the current Range Rover like Mr. Clarkson feeling dissatisfied. Not that the car had lost it’s functionality or utility but there was a car out there that could do more, a car that had greater functionality and utility.

Of my favorite comic strips, the oatmeal, depicted something similar to this here.

Similarly, I have a friend whose house is littered with Apple products from here to kingdom come. Macbooks, iPods, iPhones, iPads. Some them first generation. Some the latest models.

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Evolution of the Range Rover

The older ones again in some cases still have their functionality but it is only because new items came out that the old ones were put aside.

Funny enough is that this theory of consumerism also applies to other things like human capital.

Our parents or at least mine always talk about how in their days having a high school diploma could get you places. But then that began to change. People with high school diplomas became less marketable than those with degrees and so the market took those with the degrees and forgot about those with just a diploma.

To survive, most people had to “upgrade” themselves, increase their functionality so to speak. The same continues with a person with a Masters degree being more marketable than one who only has an undergraduate degree.

However, one thing a lot of people tend not to realize is the fact that the first person, who only had a diploma may have been better suited for the job. The first Range Rover created was probably the best off-road car ever built.

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The evolution of Apple

The Macintosh paved the way for the development of better Macbooks and iMacs. About the iPone, same story. But let’s face it, the first iPod was crap compared to the newer ones 🙂

I’m trying to get at two things here. In life don’t forget the value of the first products: the first Range Rover, iPod, iPad, iPhone, High school diploma holder.

But to thrive and survive you need to evolve. Be it as a human being or as a corporate. As a human, you need to improve your abilities. As a corporate, you need to improve the functionality and utility of your product(s). You need to provide a service with greater value added.

You need to be what’s in or else life will chew you up and spit you out.

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