In the early days of SI, a classic post appeared telling you to Design for Recycle. This was because a design that accounted for recycling from day one allowed you to recover costly raw materials, comply with stringent environmental regulations, and attract Generation Y’ers who are, on average, much more concerned than you with the environment, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.
However, what we didn’t tell you was that a major benefit of designing a product to be recyclable was that, by default, the product ended up being well designed for reuse as it was easy to disassemble, and, as a result, easy to swap out components. This not only simplifies, and the lowers the cost of repairs, but makes it easy to upgrade components to extend product life. And if core components can be upgraded, then, when better components (such as processors, flash drives, and antennas) are available, these can be upgraded and a next generation product can be released 6 to 18 months later. And just like Apple gets a free iPhone 4S as a result of a well designed iPhone 4 (and the millions of dollars in sales that go with it), you too could get a free product X.Y as a result of a well designed product X that is designed to be reused and recycled. Think about it.