Throughout my work with GDCA and all the issues around obsolescence, I have never come across someone who believes that obsolescence is something to be celebrated and welcomed. Everything associated with obsolescence is considered something to be avoided.
The concept of planned obsolescence brings with it connotations of either designing a product to wear out too soon or creating something newer and better to encourage people to upgrade. Forced obsolescence brings connotations of scrambling to source the parts that will keep legacy systems sustainable and having to redesign or recertify systems not yet ready to upgrade.
When I first began working with GDCA I remember trying to find the cases where there is a bright side to obsolescence. However, you don’t hear those. You hear about the headaches and sleepless nights as teams dread getting the next end-of-life notice. My team I have come to understand that even using the word in titles and our marketing has the unfortunate tendency of automatically putting people on the defensive. In fact, so far the only “bright side” to obsolescence I have found is that at GDCA we actually do make the impact of it manageable.
Well, I am happy to report, (and I know I’m stepping out on a limb here) after all my many hours searching and probing, dissecting and deconstructing, I now can say… with all authority, sometimes obsolescence is welcomed and appreciated.
When I moved into my most recent apartment, I quickly identified we had a lot of “legacy” features. Some I feared that would never see their original color again, no matter how much bleach or scrubbing was applied. Luckily, I have one of those friends who always know the right product for a tough job and they turned me on to my new favorite cleaner.
You can imagine how amused and relieved I was to read the messaging at the top of my new cleaner container “Makes Scrubbing Virtually Obsolete.”
That is some “obsolescence” I can live with.
Kaye & the GDCA Team