Thursday, June 16, 2005


I read today that Microsoft has a name for people like me who have a (bad?) habit of buying more than what they really need because they are very adverse to upgrading and buying something similar later down the road: the habitual "futureproofer." One example of this person is someone who chooses Office Professional over Office Standard not because they think that they'll need Access or Publisher (I think Publisher is the other difference...?), but because they're worried that there's a chance they might need to someday, and want to make sure that they have everything they need right from the start. I wonder... if Microsoft were to specifically make the decision to offer high-end suites specifically targeting this paranoid consumer, would that be borderline exploitation, or just offering the product that these people want?

A couple examples of how I fit this persona: buying TV on DVD that I haven't watched yet because I didn't want to have to worry about availability or ending up with an incomplete collection... buying way more poker chips than I need just in case I ever needed to supply them for a larger number of people... buying things like shampoo in twos or threes... buying high-end lenses in fear of getting cheaper ones and then wanting the more expensive ones... and so forth. I do it in games, too. I'm not sure that it's always a good idea, but it's the way I think. I have to make a conscious effort to not do it.

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