Crapification

The term “crapification” refers to the process of taking a product and making it worse slowly over time. A business going only for the short-term money might do this.

Here is how it works.

You are a loyal customer of SomeCorp’s NeatThingie. Your latest NeatThingie has just worn out after a long time of excellent service. You wish to replace it. With another NeatThingie, of course.

You may find that the new NeatThingie does not seem to be quite like the old one. As you use it, you may find that it does not work as well, and you will probably find that it wears out more quickly.

Your NeatThingie is now CheapCrap, or it would be if the price were lower. You are probably paying about the same for the new, unsatisfactory item as for the old, good item.

I have run into two cases of this.

One is Papermate stick pens. They used to be really good value. I bought a bunch when an office supply store in town was closing. They turned out to be crap. Quite often, they will not write at first, and I have to try repeatedly before they will dispense any ink. Papermate has lost a customer.

MacGregor Happyfoot socks are the second. I used to love them. Unfortunately, they do not fit very well anymore. They are much too tight around my foot and hard to put on and take off. They also wear much more quickly. Hoping it was not just one batch, I did try again and found the same.

In both cases, I have found products that do work for me. It is doubtful that I will ever buy another Papermate or MacGregor product. When I wanted a stick pen or some socks, the decision of what to get used to be easy. It still is, just in the opposite direction.

If you make good products, how about you keep making them that way?