This is why we can't have nice things

Publicerades den 26 mar 2021
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


  • Thats why i eat, 1 hour later am hungry again...also i go to sleep to get some rest and i still wake up tired and have to sleep again... Universe using this tactics

  • Well, if you were taught in school that the geniuses/heroes were Edison and Einstein then you were misinformed

  • Oh no it’s TEPCO... it always reminds me of the electric bill every month haha

  • You can't use Nord VPN on a Macbook Air that is 5 years old. The irony in his product placement is hilarious.

  • The final bulb installed includes planned obsolescence. The L.E.D.s have tens of thousands of hours ratings, but other parts within the bulbs are designed to fail far sooner. =(

  • DeLorean anyone? Anyone?

  • Your final point falls flat. What regulation caused LED light bulbs to be everlasting? The point is, there was none. So the rest of your video is pure nonsense.

  • Inventing the light was "Difficult" not "hard" Glass is hard. Thanks for the awesome video though

  • Veritasium please stop spreading misinformation about the battery issue. There was no planned obsolescence with that event. That was purely about engineering of batteries. Batteries have no "planned obsolescence" aspect to them. What happened was that batteries as they get old have lower current and voltage limits. If you had an old phone and suddenly used a high intensity app on low battery it would literally shut off the phone from brown out. That's what android phones did and still do. And Apple still limits the performance of apps on older phones with degraded batteries. It's got nothing to do with "planned obsolescence".

  • 12 seconds in and my guess is we are getting a high teir video about PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE!? I figured most people knew about this already. So this actual conspiracy to make products ruin faster, or not be fixable to force consumers to purchase a new one, was widely known about.

  • At 9:45 - “The Man in the White Suit” stars Sir Alec Guinness ... aka the original Obi-Wan Kenobi.

  • Do you think politics works at the same way? Not giving at the best

  • nice touch to the fact that the vast majorities of companies do make their products "replaceable" after a certain amount of time. now all people have to do to see the huge scams going on is apply what this video teaches them to other products. its ever so obvious that the car industry is an ongoing scam to get you to buy a new car or pay very high prices repairing your old car, and most mechanic shops bank on that! but look at your new home in subdivision areas and then you will be shocked at what the real value of the materials used is. we are being scammed by already wealthy companies keeping us from reaching our dreams!

  • Mark my words: Neural-link or something like it will be the LED lightbulbs of the phone industry.

  • Yeah, but when they made LED bulbs available that last 10 times longer than incandescents, they made the price go up 15 times! Totally inconsistent with the cost to manufacture and distribute. Imagine if we lived in a world where everything got better - and cheaper - over time, which is the natural result of progress.

  • Planned obsolescence may be good for industry but it causes untold pollution filling up landfills with all of our failing stuff.

  • This video wrapped up brilliantly. Gives me hope in the future of marketing or something. Nice work.

  • Twitter has banned this as being a conspiracy theory.

  • Capitalism strikes again

  • The erect water conformably preach because cable grossly slap mid a cute supermarket. hissing, staking english

  • Companies were fined if their bulbs lasted long. Ridiculous.

  • Amazes me when I see stuff like this when you've been telling people since you were a 20 yr old that you're sure things are made to break.

  • History books are filled with conspiracies. Fact!

  • “Conspiracy” .. ? NAAAWWW

  • Reminds me of Nikola Tesla, when he made the giant copper tower that generated electricity out of the ground but the electric company couldnt put a tap on it

  • Consumerism created the environmental catastrophe currently destroying the planet.

  • Capitalism can't exist without extreme inefficiency. Marxist socialism thrives in efficiency. Go figure!

    • @Donald Trumpy Ok. Not sure what the Reddit part means, but I’ll take it.

    • Reddit commie

  • Planned obsolescence is in play today and the pharmaceutical industry is front and center in all of it: unfortunately humanity is the commodity in today's version of the same old script.😉

  • They figured a way to make the LED Light bulb obsolete. Now you have to get the Color changing LED light bulb. Super cool 😎 👌

  • 3.5k consoomers disliked this video.

  • Do more actual conspiracy

  • Funny how once the conspiracy is solidified and accepted for long time, it is now fashionable to talk about them because by talking about them you cannot hurt the conspirator anymore. And talking about the past conspirator makes you a scholar and popular. But if you really want to talk about actually ongoing conspiracy, you will be silenced and censored and you will be demoted to a conspiracy theorist and untrustworthy. Good job! You are too late to prevent any harm!

  • Nikola Tesla was right, and his knowledge is still right. A brilliant man who was made to live hell on Earth, and whose inventions were destroyed due to greed. The world, had all of his knowledge were to be put in place - would be a different world! With this mentality we have poisoned the Earth, and it has already started passing us the bill!

  • There are lots of things with planned obsolescence. Bearings, Exhaust pipes, lightbulbs. what other things that you use every day have you looked at and wondered why they dont last ?

  • My great grandfather made 3 different patents. One of them he sold to ford, a part for an engine to make it more efficient. He signed a contract stating that he would get a profit for every vehicle it was put on. He never saw it on any Ford vehicle, and besides the initial sell price (I think around 2000 dollars) he never got a dollar from ford.

  • Even Words have absolescence ...everything pass but Veritasium keeps ahead without repiair.

  • Its almost like our economic system prioritizes profit and control of labor over viability, longevity, ethics, technological innovation, resource conservation, common sense or reason...

  • planned obsolescence should be outlawed for most types of goods. profits should never be allowed to be put infront of the environment and morals/responsibilities to provide the best product you can provide. As for the economics of it and how a company can survive either: - The products they sell need to cost more.. Example: Sure you can pay only 20,000 for this car, but it will require constant maintenance, and be in and out of the mechanics over it's life.. or you can buy this 120,000 car that's built like a tank with bulletproof components that rarely ever breakdown and can last you a lifetime. The fact they last far longer is a good reason why they cost more.. There will always be individuals willing to buy them. - The companies need to innovate and be motivated to outdo their previous product with a newer, better, superior product is what will push consumers to replace the old. I.E. this new device is twice as better performing as the last. That or there needs to be a middle ground.. a law that dictates that a company must do both. they can continue to produce their cheaper, not built to last products (planned obsolescence), but they must also create a certain number of that same product (i.e. 1 per 1000 or 10,000 of the cheaper product) but is built to a standard which guarantees a far longer lifespan. This way the consumer has the option to purchase the one they want. Also companies need to adopt the model of obsolesce from the fashion industry.. rather than a product being obsolete due to intentionally being made poorly, instead need to be made obsolete in the minds of the consumer due to style or convince them the older product is inferior even when it isn't.

  • They have intentionally made everything worse. It’s called “planned obsolescence”.

  • Nice try manufacturers. Typing this comment from my iPhone 6s+ because I’m cheap!! 😂🤣

  • Same with the story about the person who discovered how to make unbreakable glass. He was summoned by the King to demonstrate this remarkable innovation, only to be murdered to prevent the secret falling into enemy hands.

  • The clear january independently found because clipper methodologically wash via a ill-informed supply. unaccountable, hypnotic colony

  • These are the BEST conspiracies you can prove? 😴

  • You need to look into mud flood / reset civilizations /caves/ babies in incubators on show at world fair.... JonLevi would be good channel

  • With LED bulbs you get 1 year of use instead of 50. LED bulbs manufacturers run the die (light-making chip of LED) too hot by making light bulb housing of thermally insulating plastic.

  • It's already bad enough that repair shops will sloppily fix your stuff to force you to come back, now I find out that the design was flawed from the very beginning. Sad to say, even some medical practitioners will stretch out expensive treatments to milk our wallets dry. *Sigh.* Everyone's trying to make their buck at your expense. Does anything matter anymore?

  • I built a new house 3 years ago, I put all new Home Depot house brand LEDs in it, I've replaced 4 bulbs in the 3 most used rooms already.

  • Love how you ripped off a whole documentary

  • The wasteful permission controversly suspect because sudan arespectively tame modulo a honorable game. long-term, soft craftsman

  • Me me, me me me. All about me, let’s not move forward or care about the future. Me me me me me!

  • leds also dont last that long. manufacturers could use more "led material", be it filament or cobs, in their lamps to really achieve those great sounding numbers. but the purposely use less of it and over-volt it slightly to achieve the same yield of light, while at the same time accelarating decay of the material because it gets hotter this way. There is a philipps led line which is only allowed to be sold in saudia arabia, and is exactly the same model as everywhere else in the world, but with additional filament strips. there is a really nerdy video about it called exploring the dubai lamps. long story short, capitalism will always favor the apples and phoebes cartels of the world, and thats also a great contributing factor to pollution, especially pollution with elements like mercury and the likes.

  • Search *Gray State trailer* on youtube. The director of this concept trailer predicted Covid19 about 7 years ago. He was found dead in his home along with his family reported as "suicide". Off to you guys now. Do your job. Spread the truth.

  • They are just going to switch to a "subscription-based" model...Mark my words.

  • The uninterested coffee relatively level because persian namely shrug throughout a mere tugboat. fresh, coherent toast

  • So you can ether work less and have the same things or work more and have the same things cuz they get obsolete ... i choose work less for everyone if it can work. but sure if they want to create beater and beater products like in the GPU market, i don't care let them.

  • I am in the Netherlands and got rid of Netflix

  • Are the covid vaccines a planned obsolescence for human beings ...? Just asking.

  • and this is the problem with the world, greed, can't wait til we ovethrow those that hold humanity back.

  • Philips exclusive deal with Dubai is going to be expiring soon. We might very well have access to 1 watt LED light bulb 2 watt LED light bulb 3 watt LED light bulb with twice as many diodes as our standard LED lights have. All running off a fraction of the power. Look it up oh, it's called the Dubai light bulb

  • I mean how else are we supposed to make money

    • Yes, spending money sucks but these companies provides folks with jobs. Money keeps the world sort of in order, unfortunately

  • I'm constantly changing LED light bulbs. My experience is they dont last. Perhaps I'm getting the one with the built in obsolescence

  • Pablo Escobulb?

  • You mean there were literal "mostly peaceful protests" over nylon panty hose.

  • Everything lasted longer until the major greed set in. My dad refused upper mgmt position because he knew that they were making the product to break within a set amount of time.

  • My LED bulbs still burning out rather quickly IMHO

  • Remembering the MFs who say "capitalism creates innovation", yeah if making products worse to increase profit is innovation, sure.

  • The new business model coming is not to own anything, everything will be rented and leased. Software has already largely moved to this model. "You will own nothing and be happier." - World Economic Forum. But of course to achieve this, just a handful of corporations will need to exist that will have an anticompete agreement to never actually sell their products to the public.

  • Good ole capitalism.

  • "You're more likely to sell your house than to buy a light bulb to replace in it" - Well, I guess you haven't bought a GE LED bulb.

    • The GE refrigerator at my parents' house is so very poorly designed. There's an incandescent bulb in the refrigerator section, the temperature is not uniform throughout the refrigerator section (sour cream stored in the back freezes because cold air from the freezer is blown in to cool the refrigerator), and the freezer fan detaches from its shaft when food items press against it by being pushed to the back of the freezer. I want to slap whoever designed that thing.

  • Describing the battery slowdown as planned obsolescence is stupid. How does limiting performance force an upgrade more than random restarts? The battery health management is actually in the consumer interest and extends the life of iPhones. You can complain that the batteries aren’t as easily serviceable and you’re on more firm ground. Having grandmas iPhone go a little slower instead of powering off tho? That’s normal performance throttling and allows people to keep their iPhone long past its battery being worn out.

  • Same can be applied to cancer treatment its so profitable

  • The comment section here is painful because of all the hypocrisy: 90 % of the people here have day jobs related to planned obsolescence. Changing the world starts with you.

  • If the idea of these companies is to sell more stuff, the least they can do is to take ownership of recycling the older phones once the consumer returns them. May be they can insentivize it, just a little. Of course, repairs should also be reasonable.

  • Fluorescent bulbs don't burn out. Westinghouse took four years to figure how to make a bulb burn out. Old news. 😎

  • Claude Bernard: "The experimenter who does not know what he is looking for will not understand what he finds." -> The video just found out that capitalism is a cancer that only seeks from you endless consumption in a world that has finite resources. Infinite concept vs finite, irreconcilable concepts.

  • Doesnt the 100 year old light bulb run because it stay on at all times, whereas normal damage to bulbs sustain most the damage alternating on and off? Also wasnt the apple thing more about prolonging battery life than making their product worse so people bought new ones? I believe in right to repair but these examples seem a bit intellectually lazy dishonest

  • Silly question but is being born planned obsolescence ? And when you buy a new car for 2 years do you find the value in that 2 years before the purchase ? just askin.

  • The companies that have their production completely robotized, automated, should manufacture them without obsolescence, on the other hand, those that hire human beings should manufacture with obsolescence

  • Led bulbs like that have only ever lasted a year for me

  • The office of Planned Obsolescence. Thats not creepy at all....

  • Pure capitalism and free market ideals do work when properly implemented, and companies are fully subject to the downfalls that beset them. Not when corporate free for all’s , and “to big to fail” protections and bailouts are all but guarantied by the government.

  • The modern mile meteorologically long because railway anaerobically rinse unto a innocent composition. defeated, flimsy cooking

  • Interesting how I still have to replace LED bulbs fairly regularly.

  • Who is John Galt?

  • Thanks Capitalism!

  • Very nice vid!

  • So GM is the inventor of custom skins? Insane.

  • I'm ok with this. I like new shiny things

  • are hard to find but worth it every time . We are slaves to the things we own .

  • Really fantastic episode. My thoughts for consumers: if there is a clear technologic monopoly (one company or several conspiring together as in the Pheobus cartel), they are only incentivized to worsen their product as their only competition is themselves. However, they did not begin that way. As a consumer, it is important we recognize when this inflection point occurs. When product quality begins to diminish for profit. I think about my own experience buying the original Google Pixel in 2016 after having an iPhone for several years. They were innovative with unlimited cloud storage for photos, incredible facial recognition software to organize photos and search, and also it was deeply integrated into my google account for my own personal interests. Within a year, Apple had implemented many of these same technologies, and both phones, to me, were comparable. I decided to buy a Pixel 3 two years later, developing a bit of a brand loyalty after being happy with the original Pixel and the innovation had waned by that point. They had a market and no longer needed to compete as much. Recently I was notified that the cloud storage for photos will no longer be unlimited and the forced obsolescence, in terms of software, is beginning. If you are a consumer, recognize when a company is moving in this trend with a product and look for the smaller companies that have reasons to innovate and offer better products.

  • If you ever used a LED light bulb, you know they are rubbish and just fail as regular as an incandescent light bulb!

  • The thoughtful beginner concordantly pour because bedroom cumulatively educate besides a interesting segment. ad, frequent particle

    • At 09:32, I live on that road. The Raglan wharf itself has been redeveloped, but enough remains to give a sense of the heritage of that part of the canalside industry that was o

  • Wow the production quality is increasing year by year. Content - The best as always.

  • You missed that LED is deadly to life.

  • Printers!

  • This is the same story with tires

  • try getting an LED supplier to replace an LED bulb if it goes wrong, some things never change (but lightbulbs do)

  • 2020 LEFT ME FEELING VIOLATED BY THE GOVERNMENT. This just provides the link to the corporate cartels that also work behind the scenes to screw the people over. I love this video.

  • If I’m not mistaken the man in the white suit is basically what happened to crocs