Like most people, I wear a few hats: husband, father, Bartizan Connects president…and chairman of Addressograph Bartizan (AB). In the latter capacity, I answered a caller recently. AB, a company unrelated to Bartizan Connects, manufactures a “relic”, the once ubiquitous credit card transaction device that was found next to every cash register from New York to New Caledonia throughout the 1960’s until the early 1990’s.
That device, known variously as a credit card imprinter, a knuckle-buster or a zip-zap machine, has been largely supplanted by various electronic systems.
Despite advances in credit card technology, the credit card imprinter lives on, not only in the U.S., but around the world. When disaster strikes (hurricanes and other natural disasters; power failures; technology malfunctions), the imprinter can be counted upon to record a credit card transaction.
The recent caller wanted to know how he could purchase a new imprinter. He found it necessary to replace his current zip-zap, as it had worn out after “only” 25 years. Having said that, he paused, as did I. “Surely he’s kidding”, I thought. Indeed, he was. He explained that his bank offered a model far less substantial than the one he previously purchased bearing our name. He wished that everything he bought lasted as long.
Today, we are a throw-away society (Well, not all of us. I have ties and sport jackets that are older than my 23-year old daughter Orly). Mobile phones have a 2-year life. Fountain pens? Nope…a disposable ballpoint pen will do. Books? E-books, my friend. Disposable cups, plates, dinnerware. The only disposable with which no one can quibble? Diapers. Terrific! Ranks up there with the invention of the wheel.
My point (Yes, I do have one)? There are customers that still appreciate products that are built to last. Build one and you will be lauded as an innovator. You’ll have sales leads galore, friends and followers by the hundreds, even thousands. Your product will be the subject of tweets and Pinterest.
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