This is why we can't have nice things

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


  • niduoe stre
    niduoe stre7 minutter siden

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

  • Devin Young
    Devin Young9 minutter siden

    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.

  • Thomas Werner
    Thomas Werner32 minutter siden

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

  • Debra James
    Debra James40 minutter siden

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

  • niduoe stre

    niduoe stre

    6 minutter siden

    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

  • Ashish
    Ashish41 minutt siden

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

  • kuatum Poole
    kuatum Poole47 minutter siden

    You missed that LED is deadly to life.

  • Vin M
    Vin M47 minutter siden


  • Leon Sandro
    Leon Sandro50 minutter siden

    This is the same story with tires

  • Brian Evolved
    Brian Evolved52 minutter siden

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

  • CIA1776
    CIA1776Time siden

    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.

  • liquidwombat
    liquidwombatTime siden

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

  • Vinnie Davis
    Vinnie DavisTime siden

    I'm so glad I learned about planned/engineered/dynamic obsolescence in school way back when I was 15, I haven't purchased an iPhone since.

  • Mike Makuh
    Mike MakuhTime siden

    Why not? If you were older you would know that EVERYTHING use to last longer. Except cars that were produced by the "big three".

  • Jim Scimonetti
    Jim ScimonettiTime siden

    I just bought a new iPad - My trash can is full now with boxes and packing material. Good job Tim Apple.

  • Nikkos
    NikkosTime siden

    I guess that happens a lot with motherboards. I had 3 that broke next month after guarantee end

  • Elkin Henao
    Elkin Henao2 timer siden

    Thanks, again. I willl spread it among my friend. We have to increase global conscience. Even the discussion is still open. I fell there is a programmed obsolence from current leds lamps, up to th energy sources. Infinite energy supply is closer; Is this better for humans? Why not? Water was almost abundant and was not a problem in the past.

  • Stupidly Clever
    Stupidly Clever2 timer siden

    always stick out till the end to see his creative plot of product placement :)

    ORION2 timer siden

    Glad to hear that someone on the internet still knows the difference between the word conspiracy and the phrase conspiracy theory. Millions of idiots (pim tool for example) do NOT understand this.

  • Kevin Lee
    Kevin Lee2 timer siden

    The right to repair is for the farmers who aren't allowed to use another person who isn't part of the company that sold the machine to repair the tractors they bought and the expense of returning a very large and important machine especially during harvest times

  • Stu lee
    Stu lee2 timer siden

    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 once there. Wood and timber was the main commodity of the wharfs of that area as south Hackney was predominantly dominated by the cabinet making and other woodwork production of the time. Great to see a snippet of the past related to an area I have lived in all my life.

  • TecunUman Tonatiu
    TecunUman Tonatiu2 timer siden

    The Pharmaceutical Cartel The biggest of them all!!!

  • PhauxtoN
    PhauxtoN3 timer siden

    Glass VS Plastic

  • chris Castle
    chris Castle3 timer siden

    Lets be honest everything is controlled and has been since day one

  • Henri Naths
    Henri Naths3 timer siden

    We've been fighting consumerism for almost 100 yrs. a very complex problem can't be just turn on a dime. The key is self awareness and what is needed not wanted out of life. Bling or solid personal growth. You pick. (Btw another solid vid. Always refreshing when intuitions are backed by historical and scientific facts. Much appreciated )

  • Ben
    Ben3 timer siden

    It’s called the “Meeseeks method”... well that guy over there is charging me a bill...well THAT guy overTHERE is charging ME a bill ! well because THAT GUY is charging MEE a bill?!?...

  • dardoukLYS
    dardoukLYS3 timer siden

    And here I am with my 12 years old car since day one and my 8 years old smartphone.

  • William
    William3 timer siden

    It's greed, pure and simple.

  • Rusty
    Rusty4 timer siden

    I think living conditions for people would probably be twice as better then they are now at least if it weren't for planned obsolescence. It might be good for the few, but in exchange everyone else pays the price of falling closer to poverty, while using resource, while generating waste, thus creating a worse living circumstance. I get there will always be bad parts to the world too - but what is the point in being a part of the world when you know your actions aee actively making things worse - I don't believe for even a second this stopped any depression- it might hold it off for awhile, but this makes everything worse lol.

  • Hape Meatbeat
    Hape Meatbeat4 timer siden

    Capitalism. Great.

  • E C
    E C4 timer siden

    You'd be surprised how many secret meetings happened in the early 1900s that subsequently changed the course of Humanity for ultimate enslavement. To start, search for the Titanic and the creation of the Federal Reserve.

  • John Kuhles
    John Kuhles4 timer siden

    For believers proof is not necessary ... for non-believers proof is never good enough or "impossible" ... BOTH believers & non-believers suk! ... Because they want everything to be spoon-fed to them! ... It takes more effort to go beyond the conditioning (for or against). I avoid the use of the word "believe" for a very good reason ... I rather consider ... or I know ... or I am aware ... or I have experienced ... etc. etc. ... (believe systems often begs to be corrected) ... the moment some one asks you: "Do you beLIEve?" it is a MIND TRAP to lure you in to assuming that there is "nothing" to know or to experience. Am not seeking agreement ... nor the opposite ... as long as I stay in my own integrity and self-honesty ... we all have to deal with (partial altered) perceptions ... with many assumptions that are based upon what has been spoon-fed to all of us in a certain way ... Letting go of the "need for agreement" is very liberating and still respecting other points of view! ... Nobody has "all the right answers" and nobody has all the "wrong answers" either. There a lot people who want to control the narrative fanatically (left & right). This extreme need to force one-sided thinking is often a sign of severe insecurity. Real Honest Conspiracy Researchers studies Proven Conspiracy Facts and sometimes have "Theories" about KNOWN liars mixed with hard evidence of corruption, colluding, deceptions etc. To label some one "Conspiracy Theorists" is to falsely assume that some one "only" cooks up "theories". This need to control the narrative by MSM is part of mass dumbing down of a nation! Look up the word "Conspiracy" in any (LAW) Dictionary ... then ask yourself is that "science fiction"? ... When 2 or more people prepare to commit a crime or to do harm is that so "far fetched"? ... What MSM tries to do is you to be associated with certain people that are FAR from being a true researchers or being an honest conspiracy analyst. The reason MSM never can share an honest representation of that what they attack is because they assume most will not verify their own sold claims & judgemental assumptions to them! So they count on you being lazy! cheers. John Kuhles aka ExomatrixTV

  • Zach Dugan
    Zach Dugan4 timer siden

    Thing about conspiracy theories is...people conspire. And by definition, they try to hide it. While you should certainly expect evidence before coming to conclusions, it seems the negative connotations surrounding "conspiracy theorists" are largely unjustified.

  • Bettsbe58
    Bettsbe584 timer siden

    The jazzy brazil reversely strengthen because charles ultimately lock times a oceanic basement. tedious, skinny show

  • mario barcelon
    mario barcelon4 timer siden

    Custom make is the key for long product life.

  • Deborah brune
    Deborah brune5 timer siden

    The laughable sock phylogentically wrap because steam conservatively perform mid a drab mind. cheap, past norwegian

  • Olcay Sözen
    Olcay Sözen5 timer siden

    Fun fact: The lightbulb in the firestation outlived multiple webcams which were livestreaming the bulb

  • no
    no5 timer siden

    Because you break them, I had to take them Awaaaaaaaaay im sorry

  • Gabriel Borges
    Gabriel Borges5 timer siden

    About 3.4k rich businessmen disliked that.

  • Paula
    Paula5 timer siden

    LED bulbs are actually NOT eco friendly. They contain lead and nickel, arsenic, copper, and other metals. Use and disposal of LEDs present health risks. It is suggested that , gloves and masks or special broom should be used when cleaning up broken bulbs! Not disposed of in conventional landfills.

  • Leslie Piper
    Leslie Piper5 timer siden

    "antiquated model" ?? so say the dinasours

  • firebirdcas
    firebirdcas5 timer siden

    Imagine how inefficient that lightbulb in itd energy usage.

  • Simply Electronics
    Simply Electronics5 timer siden

    And if you're like me you're entire home is Philips hue and you can't help but upgrade to the next version 12 months down the line.

  • Mika de Grote

    Mika de Grote

    2 timer siden


  • Richard Rester

    Richard Rester

    3 timer siden

    I manage, and there's nothing special about me.

  • Radar Long
    Radar Long5 timer siden

    Phoebus Cartel, is the deal made by the deep state of American government.

  • Petr Kratochvíl
    Petr Kratochvíl5 timer siden

    With the LED lightbulb it is not true, because the drivers die too soon, manufacturers use intentionaly bad components or the worst posible solder. Also the RoHS helps it a lot. Solder without Pb is much easier to crack and wear down quickly due to heat from components.

  • Nasseh Khodaie
    Nasseh Khodaie6 timer siden

    The materials is very similar to a documentary names "the light bulb conspiracy". Except leaner in details.

  • Desert Dove
    Desert Dove6 timer siden

    Brilliantly done. 🥰A privilege to view your videos. Thank you:)))

  • psycheisssdelic
    psycheisssdelic6 timer siden

    I think some COB/chip on board LED lights I bought a few years ago were rated to last up to 50k hours. The light to heat ratio is also a lot more efficient. There are some good vids about cob lights on youtube

  • Tai Man Chan
    Tai Man Chan7 timer siden

    business bu sin ess

  • Vault Spply
    Vault Spply7 timer siden

    The nifty psychology intraoperatively jump because shock ectrodactyly warn excluding a willing herring. disagreeable, xenophobic jewel

  • Fastertrack
    Fastertrack7 timer siden

    So much waste from planned obsolescence 😕. Like there's an annoying problem with my speakers where they hum but since I'm not that good at electronics there's little chance of me successfully repairing that.

  • Zorro Zalai
    Zorro Zalai7 timer siden

    I had to replace 4 led bulbs during the last 2 years. In all cases the driver asic has died. They deliberately design the driver circuit to overheat and die in a year. It looks like planned obsolescence.

  • William Pedersen
    William Pedersen7 timer siden

    This should be called "the toxic psychology of industry and consumer"

  • Bob by
    Bob by7 timer siden

    Honest question Did anyone not know this before the video? No judgement, just curious

  • Zaraspe, Bong Jr. G
    Zaraspe, Bong Jr. G8 timer siden

    14:21 - 14:24 Thank me later

  • Doc Me
    Doc Me8 timer siden

    The tangible heaven lovely peep because beard rheologically label beside a magenta narcissus. three, graceful accountant

  • Ashley Hanson
    Ashley Hanson8 timer siden

    The reflective rooster orly carve because typhoon ophthalmoscopically mix beyond a overwrought font. painstaking, flimsy eight

  • Mr Moss
    Mr Moss8 timer siden

    The tremendous router apically list because rowboat dimensionally cover notwithstanding a foolish experience. measly, wide-eyed cathedral

    PANKAJ KUMAR8 timer siden

    A thorough study of every profit amassing models would reveal a conspiracy. Even the concern for privacy that pushes us for VPN!!!

  • darksideX
    darksideX9 timer siden

    The statement about LED light is not true either sadly. Ever heard of the Dubai Lamp? Big Clive reviewed them on his channel and its clear the rest (ours) are engineered to fail. Cheers

  • Inducto Service
    Inducto Service9 timer siden

    LED bulbs last about 2 years. Problem is not light element itself but electronics inside bulb is made weak. Purposely of course.

  • N01Spl
    N01Spl9 timer siden

    The cartel is still alive and well. Remember "The Button" Incandescent Light Bulb Saver? Is it a coincidence that those are no longer being manufactured? I think not! This type of cartel cronyism rules the world!

  • Gowtham K
    Gowtham K9 timer siden

    "replacement is better than repair". I guess no one is focused on saving resources and businesses just want profit.

  • tresemes
    tresemes9 timer siden

    If I recall correctly from the first time I read about this, the original meaning of planned obsolescence was the last one: to create the urge on consumers to buy the greatest and latest even if they didn’t need it so there was no need to design lasting products anyway. I reckon what Apple did with batteries wasn’t exactly planned obsolescence as it was straight up fraud. That being said, I understand that the meaning can change over time and making things harder to repair (soldered memories, glued batteries, serialized components...) can definitely qualify as planned obsolescence without being fraudulent...yet :)

  • Brian M
    Brian M9 timer siden

    Is it me or has he been working out?😳💪

  • Alessandro Poles
    Alessandro Poles9 timer siden

    A different iPhone comes out every year only because there are customers which don't know how to spend their money except by buying a 1300$ MOBILE PHONE which does not do anything more than a 2012 model. I saw people with no job, asking for a basic income from the government, buying the latest iPhone only to show it and elevate themselves to a.. I don't know. But hey, if I were Apple or any other company who has a bunch of idiots buying my 'new' product every year for more than A THOUSAND DOLLARS each I would definitely go on. It's the same in politics: if I'm a politician and I see that making stupid, empty, popular speeches filled by stereotypes, or semi-racist points, or any sh*t you can think of, and I still get 30% or 40% or more, I would definitely keep on that way. I would not be the stupidest there.

  • Eddie Cochrane
    Eddie Cochrane9 timer siden

    I toured a cave at Jenolan Caves (west of Sydney, Australia) about 20 years ago. The tour guide pointed out a light bulb that was one of the first installed in any cave around the world. He pointed out that while the light bulb was still working, the company that manufactured it wasn't...

  • Hugh Mc
    Hugh Mc10 timer siden

    We can't have efficient, good quality products in a capitalist system. Things are designed to fail.

  • Alan Hazard
    Alan Hazard10 timer siden

    In dubai you can only have Phillips 60w incandescent lightbulbs .

  • Vu Me
    Vu Me10 timer siden

    Durability is bad for business.

    JOCOENI PRODUCTIONS10 timer siden

    fire station 6 is right down the street from me!! I can't believe you came into my "small" town haha

  • Peter Suwara
    Peter Suwara11 timer siden

    Dude doesn’t understand fashion...

  • Lin Lim
    Lin Lim11 timer siden

    Nope. I was forced to switch to LED bulbs some years ago and turns out, I had to change the MORE often than when I was using filament ones.

  • HotBowl
    HotBowl11 timer siden

    now i want to make a lightbulb company and try to make the longest lasting lightbulbs because that seems like the best idea for cucking big companies and helping people

  • Nelsonomics Runs
    Nelsonomics Runs11 timer siden

    Lightbulbs latest A LOT longer if you never turn them off. But you do turn them off then on then.....

  • Ikea Lamp
    Ikea Lamp11 timer siden

    Furniture used to be all wood and would last a lifetime. It would even be past on to the children. Nowadays, people need a "makeover" every 5 years. It's marketing and the media driving these things. People need to be less empty-minded and shallow but they are kept dumb on purpose. Divide et empera.

  • Yourdeadmeat69
    Yourdeadmeat6911 timer siden

    Light bulbs? What about the medical profession and the drug industry?

  • Anand Pavithran
    Anand Pavithran11 timer siden

    Should more be like why we can't have nice things for ever

    BACHOMP12 timer siden

    On the one hand companies have to recoup the costs of research and development, and some would say they have the responsibility to provide jobs to keep the economy going, and not to mention the responsibility they have to keep investors happy. But on the other hand it seems like such a damn waste to use resources in anything less than the most efficient way possible. What about the responsibility they owe to consumers? Not to mention the fact that we all collectively share the rather limited resources on Earth, and should all have a collective say in how they are used

  • thefreese1
    thefreese112 timer siden

    This is why we have a problem with old tires .... I remember in the 70s the front tire on a motorcycle would usually crack and split from age before the thread wore out. Now they last only a slightly longer than the back tire , which used to last about 20,000 - 25,000 miles or more but now only last 6000 to 10000 . Same with cars except there is a long range tire option if you want to spend crazy money for them . Meanwhile we have billions of tires polluting the planet and spreading diseases from all the mosquitos they breed ....

  • Aldrnari
    Aldrnari12 timer siden

    I have never bought an LED lightbulb that lasted longer than a year...

  • jinacisvet
    jinacisvet12 timer siden

    Great video! Thanks.

  • Neville Taylor
    Neville Taylor12 timer siden

    Planned obsolescence increases carbon emissions. Right to repair reduces landfill and reduces carbon emissions manufacturing replacements, actually this whole Great Reset, Green new deal, replacing ICE vehicles with EV's and eventually hydrogen cars is all planned ecological obsolescence.

  • Neville Taylor
    Neville Taylor12 timer siden

    mRNA Vaccines, planned obsolescence for humanity?

  • Neville Taylor
    Neville Taylor12 timer siden

    So why does Microsoft pop into my head while I'm listening to this?

  • Gürhan Pekuz
    Gürhan Pekuz12 timer siden

    If 1 moth passes after purchase of Northvpn, the customer service doesn't care if problem is solved or not. Since purchase cannot be returned , they do not mind. Obsolescence?

  • Grow with Nature
    Grow with Nature12 timer siden

    See we actually have knowledge of so many other technologies and better options but corporate greed overrules those as viable options. We need to try and insist on these as consumers. But what other options do we have until we can obtain those options? It's a vicious circle. It's all messed up!

  • Freidheim of Prussia
    Freidheim of Prussia12 timer siden

    They actually had a cartel for light bulbs. I wonder how many beheadings they did

  • Doug Johnson
    Doug Johnson12 timer siden

    I've had to replace a LOT of LED bulbs :(

  • william louie
    william louie13 timer siden

    Got some drugs here for sell and you will come back for more.

  • Mike Vaughn
    Mike Vaughn13 timer siden

    How naive are you . The reason it was 5 yeats from when they mastered the blue spectrum to the ti.e they hit the market is because they had to figure put a way to get them to fail yes they last longer than other types but only a tenth of what they could !!!!

  • Kai-Made
    Kai-Made13 timer siden

    Louis, how did I know you would be I am so thankful for you brother, and people like Veritasium here...bringing this issue out into the open. Keep up the good works guys! I look forward to seeing your content...

  • Kai-Made


    13 timer siden

    something is strange with youtube, can't comment on posts from certain people?! Anyone else!?

  • Kai-Made


    13 timer siden


  • Northern Wing
    Northern Wing13 timer siden

    Good work

  • Mike Vaughn
    Mike Vaughn13 timer siden

    My sister worked at ge industrial lighting and your friends story is absolutely true ge had a bulb that wouldn't burn out in the late 70's.

  • Anudeep Ravi
    Anudeep Ravi14 timer siden

    Capitalism, Ho!

  • Sailfire1
    Sailfire114 timer siden

    I have a light bulb in my bathroom that has worked since about 1990. It is incandescent, so they cannot be bought anymore. So many lights have popped in my house, - all sorts of low energy bulbs but that one keeps going. I don't keep it on as long as other bulbs - especially in winter, but it gets switched on as often. Maybe that lightbulb will outlive me. Made in the UK though.

  • JohnnyGification
    JohnnyGification14 timer siden

    So many companies do this. 99.9% of the people on here follow this agenda. Reason why my bank account stays full. But yet at the same time it ticks me off companies doing this.

  • monoolho com m
    monoolho com m15 timer siden

    Nice one: "LED as, essentially, an everlasting lightbulb" . Where is this guy buying from? Mine barely make it up to a year.

  • Chef Hogan
    Chef Hogan15 timer siden

    I have one of those curly light bulbs that I've had for literally 17 years and it hasn't gone out. Used it every single day up until about a year ago when I got some wifi bulbs and have it in my lamp

  • IntrospectiveLife
    IntrospectiveLife15 timer siden

    Technology is deflationary

  • ginotry mwariwangu
    ginotry mwariwangu16 timer siden

    4 words, “I love your work.”