January 29, 2014
The other week I thought I lost my phone and I visited a local Best Buy to find out what a temporary substitute would cost me. I asked the salesperson for the dumbest phone they had, and was struck by its feature/price ratio. Thankfully, my phone turned up, but I was reminded of the power of Moore and his law.
The phone I looked at was a BLU Tank, which you can find online for ~$25 (it retails for $32.99) . This phone is so dumb that it has an FM Radio, can capture images, audio, and video, has 2 sim card slots, and a replaceable battery. There is no built-in browser, but it does comes with facebook and twitter apps. It even comes in different colors!
Not only would this phone make fabulous burner, but it really got me thinking. Imagine if you wrapped that phone in metal – aluminum, silver, gold? You could probably sell it for twice the price. Easy. What about a wood case – maple, oak, teak? Double again?
But, if you really wanted to make some serious money you would have to put the right initials on there. Maybe G for Gucci, or LV for Louise Vuitton?
It really hit home that as tech becomes ubiquitous, it’s becoming fashion. Products like Google Glass are starting to make this more obvious, but companies like Crated are taking this a step further by designing unobtrusive, intelligent wearables as well as focusing on improvements to the manufacturing process.
If only we could figure out how to tap the vanity of the 1% and redirect wealth back to the rest of us.