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Bill Buxton (Microsoft Research)
February 17, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
The Soon to be Famous Cracker Jack Principle
In 1896 the name Cracker Jack was registered, along with the well-known slogan, The More You Eat the More You Want. It seems to me that this slogan is as applicable to what we make as to the caramel covered popcorn and nuts that we grew up with. But there is a difference. As kids, our budget constrained our consumption. In contrast, in this world of apps where we expect content and gagets to be affordable, if not free, this constraint on consumption is removed – and must be for the industry to continue to grow. To understand the potential consequences, consider if it had of been the case with Cracker Jack? If the slogan were true, we would consume beyond when we were full, right on to the point of being sick – and lay off Cracker Jack for a long time. In today’s terms, the potential consequence is that the whole house of cards will collapse, inevitably, under the burden of the ever increasing cumulative complexity of a bunch of beautiful, desireable, affordable things that we have consumed. I talk about how we can dodge this particular bullet, and in so doing, help the technologies that we produce realize its far more desireable and worthy potential.