I first learned this important law from my late father. In the 1960s he ran a TV repair shop called TowerTV. He got out of the business in 1973 for personal reasons, but it turned out his market timing was excellent. TV repair quickly disappeared as chip technology made TVs more reliable. (This picture, believe it or not, was taken when my dad was 65. He passed away in 1999.)
And anyone who got into repair soon found that the same forces would work faster-and-faster as they moved up-market. Fact is it's now more expensive to repair a consumer video camera or PC than it is to just replace it.
That's what people do now. Lots of niches, like the one occupied by my friend Alex Randall back in the day, have virtually disappeared, and the biggest problem with the electronics industry today is its environmental impact -- pollution on the front-end, landfills on the back end.
Support, training, some help here? Fuhgetaboutit.
All this is a long-winded way of getting to a really interesting post, from Ruth at Wheelie Catholic. Ruth, a quadriplegic, writes that she can't get the help she needs on things like voice recognition software or head-mounted pointers anymore, because the markets have expanded, prices are down, and there's no margin available to deliver it.
This is the flip side of Moore's Law. Lower prices mean lower margins. Lower margins squeeze out service, support, and qualified help. This is why there will always be an immense need for non-profit support in the assistive technology area, because you can't support the products any other way.