Less is more breaks many business models

January 26th, 2009

The NYT has a story on technology downsizing, $200 Laptops Break a Business Model . It leads with an anecdote, a common and effective hook.

“The global credit crisis may have caused the decline in consumer and business spending that is assaulting the giants of high tech. But as the dominant technology companies try to emerge from this slump, they may find themselves blaming people like David Title just as much as they blame Wall Street. Mr. Title, a 35-year-old new-media manager at a film production company in New York, has dropped his cable subscription and moved to watching most of his television online — free. While shopping for a new laptop for his girlfriend recently, he sidestepped more expensive full-featured computers and picked a bare-bones, $200 Asus EeePC laptop, also known as a netbook.”

While I’m not sure about the $200 laptop — I paid $400 for what I considered a usable Asus eee last year — this trend is real. My sense is that we are all looking around and asking “Do I really need this” and answering, in many cases with a negative. Whether this is good or bad for the economy I don’t know. But it is good for the soul. Less is more seems to be an idea that takes hold on a regular basis, probably as a natural corrective action. One that seems very appropriate now.