This is why we can't have nice things

26 mar 2021
5 173 922 visningar

This video is about stuff: light bulbs, printers, phones and why they aren't better. Go to and use code VERITASIUM to get a 2-year plan plus 1 additional month with a huge discount. It’s risk free with Nord’s 30 day money-back guarantee!
The Man in the White Suit -
London, B. (1932). Ending the depression through planned obsolescence. -
Slade, G. (2009). Made to break: Technology and obsolescence in America. Harvard University Press -
Krajewski, M. (2014). The great lightbulb conspiracy. IEEE spectrum, 51(10), 56-61. -
Planet Money, The Phoebus Cartel -
The Light Bulb Conspiracy -
Special thanks to Patreon supporters: Mac Malkawi, Oleksii Leonov, Michael Schneider, Jim Osmun, Tyson McDowell, Ludovic Robillard, jim buckmaster, fanime96, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Vincent, Lyvann Ferrusca, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Pindex, Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal
Written by Derek Muller and Petr Lebedev
Animation by Ivan Tello
Filmed by Derek Muller and Raquel Nuno
Edited by Derek Muller
Video supplied by Getty Images
Music by Jonny Hyman and from"Aquatic Planet", "Rhythm of Dreams", "Tread Lightly", "Unexpected Visitors", "Curved Mirrors" "Drunken Lullaby" "Fluorescent Lights"
Thumbnail by Raquel Nuno and Karri Denise

  • capitalism breeds innovation

    Ma ksMa ksTimme sedan
  • If companies went bankrupted, they won't invent better products. So let them steel unless it's too bad. But they have to make profit, otherwise they will not have a motive to make more advanced and functional products for future.

    Omar YassinOmar YassinTimme sedan
  • Very interesting topic, planned obsolescence + cartels. Sticking to the beginning of light bulbs, people previously used candles, oil or natural gas to add light where needed but are all stinky and sooty. Not to mention dangerous. They made or bought candles using animal fat/oil or beeswax and once used they were gone. Along comes electric lights and wow what an improvement. Fast forward to LED lights wow I can’t imagine being stuck using that old lamp from Edison’s days until now. Old technology has its place and still exists in hand tools and porch swings for instance. But we are going through resources like rare metals and oil for plastic faster than killing sperm whales for lamp oil. I don’t know the answer for this. Thanks for this video.

    trep53trep53Timme sedan
  • I recommend investigating the Dubai LED light. It seems most LED lights are overdriven which shortens their LE. The tradition continues!

    Brian LewisBrian Lewis2 timmar sedan
  • LED bulbs CAN last forever, but many have not, and many more will not ...

    MrSummitvilleMrSummitville2 timmar sedan
  • I've had plenty of LED bulbs that never made it through 6 months. At a cost of 10 times the incandescent bulb.

    Northern Fox TravelerNorthern Fox Traveler2 timmar sedan
  • Ok, great video. Except, I hope that ending was meant to be sarcastic - sounded sincere.

    jason sjason s2 timmar sedan
  • Can you say “Price Fixing” ?

    Gloria Roma - San Diego Real Estate AgentGloria Roma - San Diego Real Estate Agent2 timmar sedan
  • Apple sucks!

    Sanket JadhavSanket Jadhav3 timmar sedan
  • Great video!

    Brendan BlackBrendan Black3 timmar sedan
  • buy poocoin

    M.SorrentiM.Sorrenti3 timmar sedan
  • This is solved with a Universal Living Income and in-home 3D printing. The problem is economic and it has to be solved there. Work is no longer as necessary and workers defending their jobs is ridiculous. Simply give everyone a LIVING income (not a basic income) and that is solved. The 3D printing must come with in-home recycling. This would bankrupt most industries, especially shipping as goods would travel over an internet of things and people’s trash would be used to print the new product. The “right to repair” is a law which can be changed or loopholed through, as corporations do. Making real structural changes, like living income and in-home recycling and printing, would solve these issues once and for all!

    UniversalPotentateUniversalPotentate3 timmar sedan
  • It is totally faisable for inventions to last twice as much as they are supposed to last, but then again there's no money to be made!

    mouloud boukhalfamouloud boukhalfa3 timmar sedan
  • There are environmental issues with the obsolescence too, it creates more garbage and pollution.

    Marcos CruzMarcos Cruz4 timmar sedan
  • the greediness of capitalist stopped people to pursuits for the best .

    Calvin WongCalvin Wong4 timmar sedan
    • There is greed in capitalism, socialism and communism because greed is a bad characteristic of a PERSON ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville2 timmar sedan
  • This rethoric that posits planned obsolesence as a good thing just because it gets the economy going is dangerous. It's a parallel to the window paradox. If a window breaks, you'd never call it a good thing, but that's exactly what this is. The repairman gets a job, and it causes money to circulate, just like when the worker gets hired to produce stockings to replace the old, torn ones, but surely anyone can see that it would be better for both the repairman and the window's owner if the money and work was used to install a new window instead.

    Kulfyr3Kulfyr34 timmar sedan
    • But if windows were unbreakable then that would be less production for the window manufacturing industry. Planned obsolescence only causes the consumers to suffer = higher cost-of-living. While, the owner of the window manufacturing business has a much higher income. It is transfer of wealth scheme - from the many, to the one ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitvilleTimme sedan
  • LED bulbs break faster than my tungsten and carbon bulbs

    Teitur Ardal RosengrenTeitur Ardal Rosengren4 timmar sedan
  • Bulb be like: Back in my day, the sun was way more brighter

  • love your videos

    LeonLeon4 timmar sedan
  • Seeing the old card cruise around and over those slopes (12:07) really impressed me. I think my dads car can't handle some of this terrain. Always envisioned those old cars to be super flimsy.

    TrashlootTrashloot4 timmar sedan
  • Superb video

    Albert-Stefan StancuAlbert-Stefan Stancu5 timmar sedan
  • again and again and again... i'm tired of the feeling we could create a world, where everything is fine and everybody is happy, but we don't because: money and greed.

    Abby SurnameAbby Surname5 timmar sedan
  • Same thing with rubber sole shoes before and during WW2 most shoes last for 20 to 40 years and you can inherit your grandad shoes or your dad shoes in a pristine condition but not today because rubber makers agreed to put early expiry date on rubber that will only last for 1 year and 6 months then when rubber is expired it's will pop and become dust. For them it's a good business but not for us.

    Van AllenVan Allen6 timmar sedan
  • this is the best of veritasium

    divxdivx7 timmar sedan
  • a great video; thank you

    EvarateEvarate7 timmar sedan
  • Oh my God you advertising your show appearance then using it as a segue into your sponsor because it's only on Netflix in the UK is the most evil yet genius sponsorship I've EVER SEEN

    Pancak3MixPancak3Mix8 timmar sedan
  • Wow, can you find out why we haven't been back to the moon in so long? That always baffles me.

    Man KindMan Kind8 timmar sedan
    • WHY do we need to spend a small fortune to go the moon, just to collect more rocks? If you pay for it, there are astronauts that will go ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville3 timmar sedan
  • We must protect the firehouse lightbulb at all costs!

    Bsw73_7Bsw73_78 timmar sedan
  • 14:38 “Really? Uhuhh....” -me watching on my iPhone 6s

    Chronos KingChronos King9 timmar sedan
  • Fluorescent bulbs cost more and burn out faster than incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs have mercury.

    Sangria BiscusSangria Biscus10 timmar sedan
  • You didn’t answer how other companies (without legal authority) could enforce the payment of a fine and what would be the motivation of a company joining this packt.

    GM JGM J10 timmar sedan
  • Listen world , this is how capitalism destroyed the earth , capitalism is good for economy but very bad for the nature and as consumer also

    SiM GamSiM Gam10 timmar sedan
    • Collusion to implement "planned obsolescence" is not capitalism ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville3 timmar sedan
  • You were not wrong .sort of u were just wrong but no worries i felt the same way as u. But its called planned obsolesence a design error introduced into the manufacturing process to maximise profit thru replacement purchases.

    Jerry BenderJerry Bender10 timmar sedan
    • Good example was Delorean who was set up as a coke dealer because his cars didnt need paintn never rusted

      Jerry BenderJerry Bender10 timmar sedan
  • Funny you didn’t mention Apple...

    GM JGM J10 timmar sedan
  • Osram means "Person who poop on itself" on Slovak language XD

    Vladimir KuharikVladimir Kuharik10 timmar sedan
  • Planned obsolescence is bad for the environment. It increases landfill fill rate and polluting waste and increases mining and logging and oil drilling demand. Also energy needs for manufacturing increase. I hate how it's becoming so much harder to repair products you buy and use now. I liked being able to pull out and change my battery on Samsung Android. Went to buy a new Samsung phone because it was on sale at a great price, didn't think of asking whether the battery was replaceable, now I guess not because I can't even open the back anymore (the SD card is now in a little drawer instead of behind the battery). 😡 Right to repair! Also, It'd be nice If a few more companies offered higher durability too.

    Ratchet4647Ratchet464711 timmar sedan
  • The 1% controls you

    Arrow's TheoremArrow's Theorem11 timmar sedan
  • The hope here is that people start drawing the conclusions that our entire global socio-economic thinking is what is now becoming very obsolete. That LED bulb is a perfect example of life long problem solving VS problem servicing. We are on the cusp of being able to create such life long abundance, that our entire structure on how we see products, and sustainability, and work and value, are all coming into question. The early to mid 21st century humans will be remembered as being presented with the choice of either truly embracing the future, or denying it because of their emotional obsession with the past.

    J GrayJ Gray12 timmar sedan
  • That's why i never liked apple, since i owned the iPhone 3GS back in 2012 And that was the only time i owned an Apple device. The company always try to plant in the mind of the consumer the need and necessity of the new features and technological updates in their daily routine which .. it really doesn't matter at some point

    Mohamed Amine KrimiMohamed Amine Krimi12 timmar sedan
  • We need to abandon capitalism. Greed is destroying society.

    Amin YashedAmin Yashed13 timmar sedan
  • This video reminds me how much I hate capitalism.

    HeroSummitt14115HeroSummitt1411514 timmar sedan
  • How do they enforce a fine? Did they push legislation for shorter lightbulb lifespans?

    Shayle TShayle T14 timmar sedan
  • Phone tech plataeud around 2016. Theres really no reason to buy a new one xept aesthetic. Im convinced my 2 year old S9 is firmwarely slowed down by Samsung. Runs slow even at fresh wipe.

    Noel DelfinNoel Delfin15 timmar sedan
  • Gotta love consumerism... Gotta create them jobbies that everyone wants so bad... It's not a scam at all.. 🙄

    Bear8PhotoBear8Photo15 timmar sedan
  • i just vommited when you said you were sponsored by capitalistic scamming vpn on such a serious channel

    BladeYBladeY17 timmar sedan
  • Corv19 long is nonsense, antibodys are totaly unspecific. the specific antibodies only suffer a few days. only Ig A removes and kills corv 19 at once no more dangerous than house dust e.g. eucalyptus mRNA ivaccines are dangerous for people !

    Alpha HelixAlpha Helix17 timmar sedan
  • Unfortunately planned obsolescence is also applied to led bulbs. It's just that the cartels put a longer expiration date this time because it is mandatory to be covered by a 2 year warranty. So they wouldn't want to replace your broken light bulb for free.

    MandragorasMandragoras17 timmar sedan
  • What the heck is he talking about!!??? LED manufacturers literally cap bulb lifespans. Most quality LEDs can last for many decades but manufacturers try and stay within 5-10 years. Read into this. They're still pulling the same greedy tricks.

    refink33refink3318 timmar sedan
  • 14:21 For the greater good!

    ḥwtkaptḥḥwtkaptḥ18 timmar sedan
  • Planned obsolescence is part of most industry. Sometimes it is good. Most of the time its bad

    Logan MeloyLogan Meloy18 timmar sedan
    • @MrSummitville i guess it never is good

      Logan MeloyLogan Meloy2 timmar sedan
    • How is planned obsolescence ever good for the consumer? It just increases their cost-of-living ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville3 timmar sedan
  • damn, u're like the Internet Explorer from youtube. What will your next video be about? Oil companies investing in renewable energies because they don't want to get out of business with nuclear energy?

    Mr. NicolasMr. Nicolas18 timmar sedan
  • "But if it wasn't for planned obsolescence we would be out of a job !" Well may be the problem isn't the durability of products, may be the problem is capitalism.

    TopperHTopperH19 timmar sedan
    • The problem is consumers. And job hunters. Self sufficiency is the answer, but that's too much for most of these zombie humans.

      Bear8PhotoBear8Photo14 timmar sedan
  • The four ceiling light bulb in one of our room all died within a 2 month period, a proof that these light bulbs are manufactured to have deterministic lifetime.

    Wa KakaWa Kaka19 timmar sedan
  • Do I understand this correctly? If I hired a genius engineer to develop an extremely long lasting light bulb, then tried to source the parts to manufacture that bulb in large quantities, I would be stopped by the Light Bulb Cabal... somehow. Maybe no one is willing to produce my parts, or amazon is not willing to sell my final product, etc?

    paulygonpaulygon19 timmar sedan
    • Amazon will sell your bulb, if you make the bulb in China ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville3 timmar sedan
  • I have a freezer at home from 40/50 years ago and still functioning

    KajaRegistradoraKajaRegistradora19 timmar sedan
  • i approve of you 👌

    Leilani JonesLeilani Jones20 timmar sedan
  • "These aren't the threads you're looking for."

    UbahflyUbahfly20 timmar sedan
  • This video explains why my Galaxy S10 began malfunctioning after One UI version 3.1 on Android 11 was updated March 1st.

    nelio SAMchnelio SAMch20 timmar sedan
  • I think there should be restrictions places on apple and other tech companies. Intentionally designing a phone so that its battery will eventually decrease in quality and even break, is not only dangerous to the consumer, but also the environment, and it is wasteful of the resources it takes to produce said phone or device. The decreasing quality of the battery could - correct me if im wrong - pose a risk to the consumer, because there are accounts of batterys exploding, or becoming a fire hazard, and the way apple has done this encourages the consumer to allow the battery to continue being used until it could eventually pose this risk. Not to mention that this could put more people in situations where they could need to call emergency services, but wouldnt actually be able to. Also think about the carbon dioxide and other things produced whilst a phone is being made in a factory, as well as the materials inside of the phone that are wasted. Intentionally designing a device so that it cannot be repaired even when people try to should be illegal. We might even get to a point where it should be encouraged to make it easy as possible when it comes to the current climate crisis, i believe this is where apple would eventually die as a business, or when another company begins to make larger leaps in the technology inside of the phone, with each generation. Apple also claims to be trying to save the environment by using renewable energy, despite making a new model of phone every year with the intent that consumers will throw their previous one away.

    FiveGreenBottlesFiveGreenBottles20 timmar sedan
  • Excellent video.

    Dan the BananDan the Banan21 timme sedan
  • I was gonna scream apple the moment he said talked about the light bulb conspiracy, and then i shut up cause it was what more than half of the video was about XD

    Kalash SarodeKalash Sarode21 timme sedan
  • capitalism yall

    clay bclay b21 timme sedan
    • Collusion to design in Planned Obsolescence is *NOT* Capitalism ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville2 timmar sedan
  • awsome vedio

    El3ktraz -El3ktraz -21 timme sedan
  • This video makes me worry about a future were survivors crash their planned obsolescence spaceship and can't repair because it has DRM.

    Ayvaz of SkanAyvaz of Skan21 timme sedan
  • Its exactly what happened to Cub Cadet lawn tractors. Cub Cadet made such great machines that they never broke and they eventually went out of buisness.

    wreckerwrecker22 timmar sedan
  • There's this saying in Product management that "the perfect product does not exist". It's about why company's often don't put their best foot forward so they can sell the next iteration

    Aakash JhaveriAakash Jhaveri22 timmar sedan
  • Gotta love capitalism :)

    Nick RasterNick Raster22 timmar sedan
    • @MrSummitville yes it is. Capitalism tells you to do anything it takes to get maximum profits, that's the one main focus. And that leads to exploitation of the environment and people, advertisements that make you believe you need new products and so on. If the System tells you to make profit and ignore everything besides that, the system is the source of all negative effects. Simple maths

      Nick RasterNick Raster2 timmar sedan
    • Collusion to design in Planned Obsolescence is *NOT* Capitalism ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville2 timmar sedan
  • A video about kept secrets, sponsored by something to help you keep secrets.

    Bill SmithBill Smith22 timmar sedan
  • CaPItaLIsM iS ThE bESt syStEM tO EnCOuRAge iNnoVAtiOn!

    Harald LindohfHarald Lindohf23 timmar sedan
  • Mate how childish are you ? Why do you think cannabis has been illegal for so long ? Because all it's amazing benefits medically without the the phycoactive parts needed or why their are no cure for things we should have a cure for because you make more money on the treatment than you do on the cure just like how auto parts are ment to fail after a certain amount of miles but you can buy an after market part that will last 10x longer but voids factory warranty because the factory losses sales on parts and labor for it's dealerships what else everything everything is this way mate

    grimm jowgrimm jowDag sedan
  • Yes electricity is free Tesla told us that

    Nai UnitedNai UnitedDag sedan
    • No he did not. You are a liar ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville2 timmar sedan
  • The script of this video look like your defending de programed obsolecense. Inovation is not progresing becouse of programed obsolecense. So it seems that is response to your own idea of the economy and not facts.

    Nación MapacheNación MapacheDag sedan
  • On, the last sentance of the episode is a joke...who has ever had an LED bulb last more than 2 years? Usually its the electrical components that drive the LEDs but they still fail ALL THE TIME

    Bryan MichaelBryan MichaelDag sedan
  • This is a thank you from a viewer that started watching your content a week ago but already knows that you're one of the most helpful channels on SEworld today.

    Vani DuaVani DuaDag sedan
  • If Someone makes a perfect something that lasts forever they can move on and try it on another bussiness branch, the same way when one learns a subject and moves to learn another or to go deeper in complexity on it. Planned Obsolence is not only a problem of an ever ending consuming behavior which could be ideologicaly aproved or not, it implies that threre are infinite resources to build infinite things Which Is a false statement, a real physical limitation and the Main reason behind climate change and massive extintions of species. We need to change greed as being the wheel of the world to another, more usefull idea.

    Fede AFede ADag sedan
  • Right to repair laws could bring back the small appliance repair shops and those guys able to fix anything. That'd be plus.

    Madd DoggMadd DoggDag sedan
  • Welcome to earth, we are the humans.

    Rui GonçalvesRui GonçalvesDag sedan
  • so having the lights on used to indeed raise the room temp lol

    Robert MarleyRobert MarleyDag sedan
  • I'd recommend my ISP to buy NORD VPN

    RSRSDag sedan
  • Everyday... I hate apple even more Because they sell and spit on the pockets of their costumers for those who say.... all do it I'd say I hate the enemy.... who i have to see the most

    RSRSDag sedan
  • Veritasium, PLease Pin this Comment and I will Be in Shock and know that you love your Subs, and Likers... 🙏🙏🥺

    The Imposing OddsThe Imposing OddsDag sedan
  • Nice that the crappy Dyson cleaner ad appears to me in the middle of the video 😏. Never again I will buy a product of the arrogant Brexshitter.

    egnaziaegnaziaDag sedan
  • Now I really want to be extremely rich so i can start selling eternal lightbulbs and such things

    Bobolgob Olle KohanovskijBobolgob Olle KohanovskijDag sedan
  • Capitalism as it finest, i hate you all so much.

    WuulferignoWuulferignoDag sedan
    • Collusion to design in Planned Obsolescence is *NOT* Capitalism ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville2 timmar sedan
  • I love your Channel.

    JanJanDag sedan
  • Okay this video's title telling me Taylor Swift song 😅

    Zero To OneZero To OneDag sedan
  • 1- Naivety is a belief that there are people out there who are not your close friends or relatives who care about you. 2- Conspiracy is an integral part of human interaction and every single one of us have committed it on numerous occasions in our lives. Only the scale is different.

    Don FantoDon FantoDag sedan
  • great anticapitalist rhetoric. i love it.

    GarageChemistGarageChemistDag sedan
  • oh it cant be real, but watch its real. INSTEAD look at these cars.

    Cheese NaziCheese NaziDag sedan
  • 5:38 can also be applied to resolutions and display manufacturers 😷

    Cyber NomadCyber NomadDag sedan
  • Very cool topic to cover, thanks.

    Kinjiru731Kinjiru731Dag sedan
  • Apple is the perfect example of planned obsolescence.

    Debpriyo DuttaDebpriyo DuttaDag sedan
  • 9/11

    w wybornw wybornDag sedan
  • Why do people accept that companies are capable of these mass conspiracies, but not politicians? They can make investments too, like in Big Pharma for example...

    David HallDavid HallDag sedan
  • Oh how badly I want movies to go back to switching between scientists bickering in a lab and a monster destroying the city/world.

    David HallDavid HallDag sedan
  • lol capitalism

    BBDag sedan
    • Collusion to design in Planned Obsolescence is *NOT* Capitalism ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville2 timmar sedan
  • Capitalism sure is great

    Nutflix NordicsNutflix NordicsDag sedan
    • Collusion to design in Planned Obsolescence is *NOT* Capitalism ...

      MrSummitvilleMrSummitville2 timmar sedan
  • I thought his view of profit-making was his real motivation in making this video?

    Brian Keith SomethingBrian Keith SomethingDag sedan
  • Well for the LED light, they don't last as long as advertised, yeah the LED itself can last but not the circuitry. I had many of these LED Light ceasing working well before the advertised 10000h. Maybe just after a year.

    Benj MBenj MDag sedan
  • Excellent video

    otton pinootton pinoDag sedan