On Degrading Merchandise Quality


I’ve just replaced 4 halogen bulbs in my appartment. When I threw the old ones into our recycling bin, I’ve noticed that there were already around 8 bulbs in there. From the last 5-6 months, only! This made me sad, as it shows how our consumer society works. Read on to learn how jOOQ strives to be different with respect to endurability and long-lasting quality.

More stuff I’m made to buy because it falls apart

I’ve just bought a new mobile phone, because the old one didn’t really work anymore, after only 2 years!

I’ll be buying a new hard drive next week, because the one I’ve bought recently (to replace a broken, 3 year old one) heats up too quickly and doesn’t give me the throughput I want!

I buy 2 pairs of new Adidas a year, because they don’t last as long as my leather shoes!

I buy about 5 mini-umbrellas a year, because apparently, they’re made to last a mere 10 days of rainfall!

I buy about 2 new city bikes a year, because mending them is more expensive than buying new ones. It’s not that I’d just have to replace tires, they’re actually quite broken after 1/2 year!

I bought a Windows Surface RT tablet just to learn that almost no programs can run on it. I would have had to buy the Pro version and throw the old one away.

Should we really work this way?

I’m forced to buy new stuff. I buy new stuff because the previous stuff I’ve had breaks apart so quickly. And in many cases, it is very clear that it has been designed to break apart in a short period of time. Replacing things with new things is an industry of its own. If stuff were made to last and to work for 10 years (Hah 10 years. Our grandparents used the same stuff for 40 years!), corporations would make less money with new merchandise to replace their previous equivalent merchandise. Take my awesome Samsung flat screen TV, for instance. I had bought it around 7 year ago, and it still works like a charm. Samsung never got any money from me again, even if I’m a very happy customer. Is that a bad business plan for Samsung?

There’s more to life than making tons of money and keeping a paying customer base for your deliberately mediocre product line. There is a strong urge to contribute to making this world a better place. By selling quality products that do not fall apart very quickly. Products that do not require a lot of support. Products that are easy to use and long-lasting, such that the return on investment for your customer is extremely high, at the cost of making “only” a living instead of tons of money and waste.

At Data Geekery, producing such products is our highest credo. This is why we charge a bit of money for licensing with support included, because we think that our quality is so high, you might not even need any support. We could make a lot more money by lowering our quality and by hiring a lot of expensive consultants to explain to you how our complicated product works. But jOOQ is not complicated, it is extremely easy to use.

Many “free” Open Source products don’t work this way. They lure you in by being free and LGPL-licensed, unloading a lot of consulting and maintenance costs onto you only later on. It is your choice. Do you want to invest in your future by keeping maintenance costs low? Or do you want to get a cheap product and pay later on? Think about dirt cheap ink jet printers and how much you’ll pay on those quickly-emptying ink-cartridges later on. Think about dirt cheap coffee machines and how much you’ll pay on those capsules later on. Think about some computer products, and how often you have to pay for ridiculous updates, because the “old” minor release of the operating system is no longer supported.

Don’t think in short terms. Don’t fall for “free” stuff. There is no such thing as free lunch. You always pay. A little bit now, or much more later.

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