The Ford Motor Company taught us how long a product line built to last should last when it unveiled its Ford Model A as its new automobile NINETEEN (19) years into production of the Ford Model T. Can you believe it! What else lasts nineteen years (besides versions of Unix and Linux, but even then support is sometimes only guaranteed for a decade) in today’s economy?
When you look at fast moving industries like fashion, sometimes you are looking at product lifespans of 19 days! And most companies roll out a brand new mobile phone model every twelve to eighteen months and an upgraded model every six to nine months. You cannot get a laptop or computer warranty for more than three years. And you’re supposed to trade up to a new car as soon as the current model is paid off.
But products can, and should, be built to last. Will we ever remember what the Ford Motor Company taught us?