Read a really interesting article in Wired regarding dumbed down low cost tech products which are quickly overshadowing their quality led siblings in terms of sales figures.
Actually the Chinese figured this out a couple of decades ago, why they are pretty much at the forefront of anything that requires mass manufacturing. This has also been borne out by the various ‘honey pot’ schemes around the web. Single sales page, huge commissions, mostly useless or repackaged products (including stuff generally available via Open Source or Public Domain).
While one can’t argue with the financial aspect of this nor ignore the preponderance of such sites on the web, one can’t help but feel a little differently. Quality still matters. All things remaining equal quality will always be the final qualifier.
The obvious thing that most people miss while observing this trend is that what this is really doing is raising the bar even further on the manufacturers. Make it smaller, make it faster, make it easier to operate and make it cheaper.
A classic example is in home entertainment – the journey from VCR to VCD to DVD. Techonology and innovations allow things to get a whole lot cheaper and a whole lot better and a lot more accessible to the average person. Though ensuring manufacturers have to make it cheaper and better to get that competitive edge over the others. So all in all, good enough tech might actually be driving innovations, which in itself is a good thing.