So, sorry about that Lexmark printer you were never, ever planning to buy
According to this article in the San Jose Mercury News, earlier this summer Lexmark decided to bail on the inkjet business because of the “flailing printer industry.” (So where’s the federal bailout? Thanks for nothing, OBAMA!)
But maybe the problem isn’t with the printing industry itself? Maybe the problem is paper, which this article describes as increasingly passé. This is a great description of paper, which I plan to adopt in my daily life, but it’s clearly inaccurate. People like printing stuff, and do it all the time.
So maybe we can just blame one manufacturer’s crummy products. Perhaps Lexmark, a former Fortune 500 company, simply failed to come up with innovative solutions in a changing marketplace. As a counterexample, take Hewlett-Packard’s ink delivery service, which they dragged out last year to no acclaim. Sure, it’s a stupid idea, but it did give me a chance to make this equally stupid image:
Ink delivery?! Clearly this desperate industry has some serious problems, and is just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
The industry’s problem is rooted in the unfortunate fact that nobody loves their desktop printer. Printers, one of the worst examples of planned obsolescence, are just barely tolerated by users. Compare this to the earnest, borderline-inappropriate affection we printmakers have for our antique printing equipment. And printer affection isn’t just limited to handicraft fetishists: some people also love outdated office tech like spirit duplicators, and a comely newcomer like the Risograph has many admirers.
Take note, HP: your next machine just needs to be lovable, so some lonely enthusiast is willing to care for it in its old age.
Bookmark / Share / Print