For many years, the adage was “do you want it right, on-time or cheap, pick two”. And then somewhere in the 80’s and 90’s, perhaps associated with the dot.com era, marginal costs moved close to zero in some industries. Because of this, we began to expect all three. In fact, the new adage became “better, faster, cheaper.” And, some believed we had moved to an era where all three were in fact possible.
Or did we?
I wonder if instead, more and more businesses, driven by customer unwillingness to pay for quality, have simply picked two on our behalf, with the two being cheap and fast. We see this happening in B2B, B2C and B2Self (i.e. with internal corporate customers) three examples:
In an article entitled “Why Flying in America Keeps Getting More Miserable,” Matthew Yglesias of Vox news sums this up well when he says, decades’ worth of evidence suggests we prefer cheap and safe to pleasant. Pleasant, defined as available seats all the time combined with higher prices to cover the costs, is a price we pretty clearly could bear as a society if we chose to, but as consumers we have collectively and repeatedly chosen not to. Instead, wherever competition has reared its head in the industry, the mass market has aimed for low prices above all else, followed by a vigorous culture of collective complaining when something goes wrong.
Where will this take us in the future…
What are the implications for your business?Will this trend toward faster and cheaper continue to drive most products and services? Click To Tweet