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Restart Podcast Ep 7: The past, present and future of gadget ownership

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We’ve heard a lot recently about how young people are not as interested in owning things. Polls show they are less interested in cars, driving, and less interest in owning stuff.

In this episode, Dave Pickering, our documentary podcaster, talked with Restart Party participants about different models for ownership and finance of gadgets, such as rental and leasing. There is a not-too-remote history of radio and TV rental here in the UK.

Would people really be interested in a return to product-as-service? Can we finance and use gadgets differently in future? From a user perspective, the answers are not entirely straight-forward.

And the economics and business models are not either. So we interviewed some industry insiders: UK policy advisers WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), Dutch indie manufacturer Fairphone, and London repair business Lovefone.

We can conclude that models for use and ownership will probably vary quite dramatically for different kinds of consumer electronics and appliances.

[Featured image “Radio Rentals (1955)” by Flickr user Bradford Timeline is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0]

4 responses

  1. I was with you until the crazy woman who came on claiming no-one needs to own a drill.

    Who are these people who only ever spend 10 minutes drilling? I used a drill for longer yesterday!

    I’ve got 3 drills (mini, cordless and wired hammer) and all of those get regular use. The oldest is possibly 25 years old and is in need of some TLC, will hopefully have time to strip it down an refurb later this year.

  2. janetgunter

    There is a frequently used statistic that the average power drill in a home is used 6 to 20 minutes during its entire lifetime. (Can’t find the original source.) We imagine you are a bit on an outlier, Andy!

  3. Cheers Janet, I wonder what the definition of “Used” is. If it’s minutes when the drill is actually turning then it might not be too far wrong.
    For example, if you take 1 hour to put up 2 shelves each with 4 screws and each hole takes 20s to drill then I’d say that was an hour of use, not 80s of use.

  4. Sorry, that would be 160s. Miscalculated.

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