This is why we can't have nice things

Birt 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


  • Fluorescent bulbs cost more and burn out faster than incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs have mercury.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • Funny you didn’t mention Apple...

  • Osram means "Person who poop on itself" on Slovak language XD

  • 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.

  • The 1% controls you

  • 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.

  • 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

  • We need to abandon capitalism. Greed is destroying society.

  • This video reminds me how much I hate capitalism.

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

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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 !

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 14:21 For the greater good!

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

  • 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?

  • "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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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?

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

  • i approve of you 👌

  • "These aren't the threads you're looking for."

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

  • 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.

  • Excellent video.

  • 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

  • capitalism yall

  • awsome vedio

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Gotta love capitalism :)

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

  • CaPItaLIsM iS ThE bESt syStEM tO EnCOuRAge iNnoVAtiOn!

  • 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

  • Yes electricity is free Tesla told us that

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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 ISchats today.

  • 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.

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

  • Welcome to earth, we are the humans.

  • so having the lights on used to indeed raise the room temp lol

  • I'd recommend my ISP to buy NORD VPN

  • 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

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

  • 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.

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

  • Capitalism as it finest, i hate you all so much.

  • I love your Channel.

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

  • 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.

  • great anticapitalist rhetoric. i love it.

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

  • 5:38 can also be applied to resolutions and display manufacturers 😷

  • Very cool topic to cover, thanks.

  • Apple is the perfect example of planned obsolescence.

  • 9/11

  • 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...

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

  • lol capitalism

  • Capitalism sure is great

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

  • 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.

  • Excellent video

  • Nothing everlasts because if it would it would be plastics and we know that they also do not last

  • The funny thing is that this also applicable to medicine products, the manufacturers don't need you to get cured completely, they need you to stay sick to a certain level even if they already found a way to cure. Like diabetes for example, let's say they found a way to cure it completely will they announce it or even sell it ? Or they will keep the patients live on insulin and use their supportive medicines for years with thousands of dollars spent?

  • just wanted to let this out there: LED lights can be repaired easily.

    • They produce tons of heat though, at least their components do. The benefits of LED lights is their luminosity and size. I assembled Hollywood stage lights for a few years and the test racks were a furnace...granted each unit had hundreds to over a thousand LED nodes with dozens of units running at once.

  • uh, the phone edges is a bad example, it's provable that a rounded edge makes it easier to lose your grip and drop a device, a sharp edge and flat side is easier to grip.

  • keep up the good work, both you and Louis

  • so what i'm hearing is with communism planned obsolescence wouldn't be a thing

  • I don't buy trending things including apple, iphone, ipad etc, also I don't buy clothing from trending brands and people always say that I'm classy. My house has this 1" wide, 100 year old oak flooring, it's pretty beat up but looks so stylish always. May the new owner preserve that flooring, it bears history and time.

  • You wore not sorta wrong you are completely wrong. An oven or a stove part will break so you will need to buy a new part, most things are made so only parts break, the same way phones are slowed down on purpose and cars need overpriced maintenance. This is so good for the economy in fact making things un-breakable in 1,2 or more human life spans catastrophical to companies and entire economys. No one would ever buy any thing, companies would close factories for years millions would gain and lose their jobs every century. Companies wont be able to promote for so long without a cash flow so they would rely on word of mouth, competing only with their warranties spaning centuries.

  • Why didn’t the antitrust laws stop this?

  • veritasium is so based

  • This video is why we have such a stuffed planet. It's called greed. Many things were made before the 1930s that would've lasted right the way through to the 21st-century. I can remember when they made a few that only cost cents to produce. I remember the family that run the car on it and disappeared that's the whole family never seen again. The house stood for decades an used. I suppose when you see these billionaires giving a lot of their money to the pool maybe their conscience is pricked. How many million iPhones are thrown away because of dishonesty. And iPhone with the technology they have should last for at least 10 to 15 years. Most people have no idea how to use all the technology in the average phone. You can stop a car rusting for only $20. Alright say $100 alright let's go staggeringly and say $200. And that is a vehicle would not rust for its lifetime. How much environment would that save. We already have the technologies we already have the engineers we already have the scientists that have made things last for a complete life time. All we have to do is take away greed and there you have it. We're talking about planet Earth and sustainable living we've had it for decades probably 100 years but it has been taken office by greed corruption and distortion. So who profits. Ha ha that's another story. But what's going to happen when the Sunday law comes in it's basically legislated now in all countries. The Christian coalition in America are forcing the American government to have a Sunday law at their peril. 500 Pentecostal ministers with Kenneth Copeland apologise to the Pope for the reformation. The 1940 catechism states and I quote how dare the Protestant worship on our day that we change without any scriptural evidence. Jesus Christ is Lord of the Sabbath and the Pope is Lord of Sunday which Lord will celebrate the most when the Sunday law comes in has rocket science really die

  • not having enough jobs really shouldn't be a problem. like, it should be "yay, we're operating at 100% efficiency! now there's more time for everybody" but we've decided that a person only deserves to live if they have a job. The solution to this is not to make things worse and artificially create new, pointless jobs.

  • Capitalism... When profit is primary, all else is secondary. Profit, profit , profit, that's all they care about. C Bose

  • This conspiracy sold out to the man don't pay it attention

  • I love the last sentence - full of opimism: "We finally reached tht point what is essentially an everlasting light bulb."

  • If they worshipped Allah, they wouldn't have cheated people

  • That camera in the fire station should live stream that bulb please

  • Try blue, it's the new red!

  • Thanks for pointing out that our lives are made worse by the profit motive! Planned obsolescence is one of the ways in which capitalism is choking the environment and it makes me angry

  • Hardcore leftist propaganda if ever I've seen it. How about all of the whining leftists actually start a business with the supposedly superior lightbulb? no of course not because then they'd get BTFO'd by reality. Pfeh, all leftists are irredeemably evil and woefully stupid.

  • But if the products would be bad then the country have to print more money and more money = more inflation witch can make money absolutely worthless

  • Fun little video that shows how humanity ended itself, alongside WALL-E.

  • Matsushitty.

  • So apart from the instance in burning Apple (who have increased performance year over year in their tablets and phones) and then using a MacBook? Oh and the fact that Apple HAVE now just revolutionised their product with their own chips in their computers that use much less power while maintaining the same level of performance (or surpassing it), the BBC (who run QI and commission it) is funded by the British tax payer. Circumventing that is like ripping off the US cable networks.

  • Why can’t we have nice things?? Capitalism

  • CAPITALISM SUCKS this is all capitalism's fault ffs

  • I have several incandescent light bulbs that have been running for about 30+ years. The secret? First the bulbs are clear glass 4 watt night light bulbs. Second is special fixture that runs 2 bulbs in series. Third is a diode in series with the bulbs. This reduces the power to point that the filament glows, but not brightly; similar to that firehouse bulb. It makes a nice bathroom night light that I leave on 7x24.

  • Right to repair is a retarded concept. I can't fathom how *more* legislation would ever solve our problems. The only true way is competition, and the only way that's going to happen is if we make it really easy to enter the market. You're simply begging for crony capitalism when you support right to repair.

  • This is happening today in other electronic industries. What they're doing is greed, and ripping off the consumer. While all being legal.

    • Remember, you have the right to not buy their products.