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

  • Onac

    You can drive cars with adding water but the government want to use gasoline so we can keep buying it

  • rahman niggs
    rahman niggs

    Wooow, I love this video

  • Iigmy Bigly
    Iigmy Bigly

    And people refuse to believe world leaders are conspiring to direct the world and market in the directions they want. We all have seen what terrible humans will do for power and y'all think it stops in the government? 🤡

  • Vandalay Industries
    Vandalay Industries

    Commie democrats is why we can't have nice things.

  • Darwin Greenheart
    Darwin Greenheart

    moral of the story: rich people suck, and poor people demand it

  • Arya Mahendraker
    Arya Mahendraker

    This is what Apple is doing,now I understood the geniusness of jobs

  • mikin lirou
    mikin lirou

    world. He pointed out that while the light bulb was still working, the company that manufactured it wasn't...

  • HATman

    I'm glad that you bring this issue up, I really am. But, why would less required work 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 be a bad thing?

  • BlueHeart29

    i have not had any LED light bulb that i did not have to change in my house in the last 4 years, so... maybe that's just another sales pitch.

  • Hareesh Nair
    Hareesh Nair

    Comrade Derek

    • mikin lirou
      mikin lirou

      The covid vaccine is planned obsolescence.

  • EnergeticWaves


  • Blanca Maria [Müller-Lagunez]
    Blanca Maria [Müller-Lagunez]

    Same with nylon pantihose.

  • Dragos Dragu
    Dragos Dragu

    Big Paharma has the same mindset

  • Deepanshu Sharma
    Deepanshu Sharma

    best channel on FIshows hands down

  • Leigh Foulkes
    Leigh Foulkes

    I've always wondered if engineers make products today to break after warranty expired.

  • Steven Johnson
    Steven Johnson

    In Manitoba Canada the government convinces the population that the newer lightbulbs they promote are more “environmentally friendly” despite the fact they last less then the older incandescent ones and create more waste.

  • gavin townsend
    gavin townsend

    and yet ive had to replace 2 led bulbs in a 1/2 yr and pretty sure the pack said 5000hrs

  • Judith Parker
    Judith Parker

    So weapons could use this technology ??

  • K.NIN

    i thought planned obsolescence was common knowledge in all forms


    So basically a good/useful product + a lower lifespan of the product = more money.

  • Timothy Figgis
    Timothy Figgis

    Greed is a disease on humanity. Ultimate power corrupts ultimately

  • Unreal Realist
    Unreal Realist

    And there STILL are people that don't believe in conspiracies... By people I mean sheeple

  • Dana Banana
    Dana Banana

    It is so wasteful and has a huge environmental impact. Not to mention it keeps people poorer overall in the grand scale of things by getting rid of stuff more often.

  • Kronos Sonork
    Kronos Sonork

    The same Corporations that push Green agenda, push planned obsolescence.

  • Kronos Sonork
    Kronos Sonork

    The covid vaccine is planned obsolescence.

  • Kronos Sonork
    Kronos Sonork

    Moral of the story? Buy Japanese.

  • Gabri Vermeulen
    Gabri Vermeulen

    One of the better videos about the current society, in which consuming more every year is just as normal as breathing

  • Kronos Sonork
    Kronos Sonork

    There's a direct parallel with the financial cabal. Read The Creature of Jekyll Island by G Edward Griffin.

  • the falafel King Ward
    the falafel King Ward

    Disagree have LEDs and have had to replace LEDs designed obsolescence is not over For bulbs in fact had to replace a bulb just the other day and one more went after changed the other.

  • JAG 0937 EB
    JAG 0937 EB

    apple is poop

  • Dalton Slayton
    Dalton Slayton

    Do you think maybe we made society wrong?

  • vTECiN6TH

    I know Apple is just an example, but is this not literally every major company in every field?

  • Delta927 Canadien-français
    Delta927 Canadien-français

    This whole concept really infuriates me

  • amar_ sm
    amar_ sm

    This applies to all most all consumer merchandise nowadays my friend and i lamented on it for a long time

  • Pinnaree Tea-makorn
    Pinnaree Tea-makorn

    great video

  • the one eye sees all
    the one eye sees all

    Great video ,people fight to get jobs working for big industry, who make a fortune screwing us while we get deeper into debt buying their products to keep up with the world and to self sooth depression ,because we can't attain the life free of stress and money worries that we all crave. Meanwhile the worlds filling up with mountains of crap and our kids are getting dumber. There's a reason this place is called the world [whirled ] my head is spinning. You can't use the same intelligence that created this mess to fix it. Is this really the life we are supposed to be living .

  • Goyz R Us
    Goyz R Us

    'This is why we can't have nice things' -> * \

  • michelle

    I have this yellow bulb ( dont know the material) in my house for 15 years that I haven’t change once. And then I have this horrible led bulbs that won’t last even a year before I have to change them, and those are suppose to be the new, modern and ecologic bulbs Wtf?

  • Martin Optilon
    Martin Optilon

    If that only was true that you wouldn't need to replace a LED Lightbulb and it would be "everlastning". I've replaced noumerous LED bulbs in the last years of very known brands. So I think the lightbulb manufacturers still implement "features" to have them break down after a year or two.

  • Al Rivera
    Al Rivera

    Apple does this now by prohibiting repair shops purchase of parts and opposing right to repair laws.

  • FaultyTwo

    Alternate Video Title: 'Capitalism ruins everything."

  • Benjamin D
    Benjamin D

    Except the LED bulbs have power supply bases that die on a schedule. So really we're back to square one, with the low quality LED bulbs it seems we're back to the cartel, and no way to discern a quality long-lasting light source from a low quality one. I for one would pay double if I knew the bulb would last 15 years!

  • Vinod Adwani
    Vinod Adwani

    Anyone thought of breaking that bulb and running away, or it's just me?

  • RawrItsTayL0R

    why do you have a flip knife? isn't that illegal? wTF

  • David D
    David D

    It's almost as if Capitalism is inherently evil what a revelation

  • jazz vir
    jazz vir

    You posted this video during all this vaccine thing going on😑

  • Fourtii

    Yet again, another story centred around capitalism, surprise duh🙄 But again highly insightful video👍

  • SoloPilot6

    My desktop computer was built a year and a half ago -- the monitor that is connected to it is from 2011. My cellphone dates back to 2014. My Toughbook laptop was made in 2007, and still performs the two jobs that I bought it for (navigation and word processing). My newest car was built over a decade ago, my motorcycles were made in 1970 (Honda Trail 90) and 1989 (Goldwing). It also helps to know how to maintain and repair these things (my cars and motorcycles drive as well as new, at a fraction of the price). I don't have to worry about "right to repair," common parts are easily found (new and used -- some of the parts on my sports car came from one just like it that has a twisted frame). Of that whole list, only the desktop computer and phone were purchased new. If not for people believing that they need new stuff (and thus they need to sell the old stuff), I wouldn't have a lot of what I have.

  • Pratik Karande
    Pratik Karande

    This is why usa baned Huawei

  • V Price
    V Price

    Light Emitting Diodes can easily last over 100,000 hours. The bulbs that house LEDs, however, have more components than just the LED. And therein lies the opportunity for the protection of profits. Problem solved.

  • Benwin Thattil
    Benwin Thattil

    Exponential increase in quality videos from Veritasium

  • Saumya Shalu
    Saumya Shalu

    Planned obsolescence is certainly not good for our environment.

  • Harris Pilton
    Harris Pilton

    epic video.. everything's fixable ;)

  • AckzaTV

    COMMENTS DISABLED lol How about when the CIA dropped pests animals over central American farms to get rid of a politician they didnt like in the 70s lol I mean agent orange wa sso bad and evil no conspiracy neede.d were gonna come bomb u now u guys think the peopel who carpet bomb arent afraid to also lie cheat and steal for a few decades ? lol theyre ready to bomb innocent civilians for fake wars. we can see them putting chemicals in the water , i mean the put frogs in the water of guetamala to get rid of their crops lol

  • Daniel Fernandez
    Daniel Fernandez

    Wait! As an American, I must stand up for my right to retail therapy. I have somethings that just won't break down. I've got a Whal hair clipper that's over 20 years old, a Sonic toothbrush, a Panasonic microwave and a Panasonic electric shaver that are all over ten years old. This is unAmerican! I'm sick of them and I wish they would die so I could shop for new ones. But how many guys are going to throw out something that still works? I demand built in obsolescence!

  • Standard nnn
    Standard nnn

    I once saw a pair of Sony headphones. They were good headphone costing about $300. I asked how long can you use before the battery needs replacing... " About 3 years", and "u can't change the batteries.." What do I do with them after 3 years??? "Buy a new one" Wtf

  • Standard nnn
    Standard nnn

    Non replaceable batteries and rubberized plastics in our consumer products are prime examples. These things don't last and they force you to buy a new one. I think German carmakers also adopted this idea. A lot of mercedes made in the 1970s can still run today. Today, when you buy a new German car, you will start having problems almost immediately. Few would want to buy a 5 year old used German car.

  • Emote

    poor us, we are victims ... of our own ignorance the truth. The world moves thanks to us (consumers), if the products are not very durable it is by our pure and exclusive decision, that we prefer to buy something cheap (low quality materials, workmanship, etc.) instead buy something of good quality and that last longer. Why do I want an eternal computer? With all the advances in software that increasingly ask for more power. My motorola c115 was eternal, what was it going to do for me today with all the progress? (We are talking about some years). I prefer an ever-changing world where new cars basically drive themselves, to a static world where I would have to work like a dog aiming to buy the eternal Ford that was shown in the video ... thanks but no, if I want that I can go to Cuba (and I am very sorry for those who suffer in that country). The interesting thing about all this is that our dear Derek in the video gives a point of view, what he says is not an undeniable reality, but in the comments it is incredible how they take it as absolute truth, nobody questions why we live as we live ... I love veritasium videos but lately it points a lot to this type content of wash mind, without marking the different positions on it. Success to all

  • Shadab Khan
    Shadab Khan

    I always use to think of these conspiracies in my mind now im clear with obsolescence

  • PK-JIN

    It's a very niche industry, but the same troubling trend has manifested itself in the general aviation avionics (radios & instruments) industry. 20-30 years ago most of the aircraft radios and instruments were field repairable - i.e. your local radio shop could use relatively generic components like capacitors and IC chips to repair them. Service bulletins were issued to such shops so that they could perform modifications & upgrades as well. In the 2000s BendixKing (subsidiary of Honeywell) effectively revoked the rights of thousands of such repair shops around the world to perform these repairs, and instructed them to destroy all copies of maintenance/service documentation which, for most shops, amounted to entire bookshelves at that point. (Of course, most shops outright turned in their dealership status and outright refused to destroy these documents, and good on them). Thankfully, BendixKing since then has fallen from its previous status as the de-facto industry leader in general aviation avionics, and has been on a road of steady atrophy, amounting to nothing more than a shell of their former status. That said, the current leader in this industry, Garmin, is unfortunately undergoing the same story, wherein their avionics products from the 90s and early 2000s were easily field-serviceable and well-documented, but today their avionics are purposely designed to last no more than 5-7 years, their hardware/software architecture is intentionally obfuscated to deter other companies from attempting 3rd-party integration compatibility, and factory-repair fees are artificially raised to financially unviable levels to force users to "upgrade" to newer equipment. Most egregiously, some of their FAA-legal documentation (for those in the industry - STC permission letters) were retroactively amended to preclude "owners and qualified technicians/repair stations" - which were previously authorized to carry out installations - from installing some of Garmin's older equipment and to limit new installations to "authorized dealers" only, effectively stripping practical reuse of older products that could have been transferred in the used market to an aircraft owner who desires older (and perfectly functional) equipment for a fraction of the cost of a new one. When I asked of the true rationale behind this action to Michael Kerrigan, Garmin regional sales representative for the Eastern US, I was met with a very hostile response that boiled down to "keep your mouth shut or your dealership will be in jeopardy."

  • Yellow Belle
    Yellow Belle

    This is why I don't buy iPhones

  • Jake Lambuth
    Jake Lambuth

    Apple iphone engineers: pfft.....amateurs

  • Andrew Shevchenko
    Andrew Shevchenko

    haha jokes on you. LED bulbs run at double the current they should making them hot and die sooner. check out philips dubai lamp for more

  • Ari Okubo
    Ari Okubo

    cApItAlIsM lEaDs To InOvAtIoN

  • iloveuniverseforeverandalways

    well i predict we can use forever lasting things on earth but its like 50/50 we can use things that can last forever and some things wont so ya but if so go outer space and start living in a spaceship which will be so advanced in the future there wont be money needed or food to eat or water to drink or oxygen to breathe well i dont have have any proof of that but anyways i dont need to prove you its just for me thank you and good luck

  • Axel Daguerre
    Axel Daguerre

    good as always except for the 3 advertising ;)

  • phantom walker
    phantom walker

    arnt farmers planned obsolecence people. ?.

  • phantom walker
    phantom walker

    companies get,pay,people to test how long products last,then adjust them,,, does anything chinese last.......

    • fouoii gyhh
      fouoii gyhh

      so, capitalism made our lights shitty marxism intesifies

  • phantom walker
    phantom walker


    • fouoii gyhh
      fouoii gyhh

      changing fashion of progress, and sometimes, regress (wars, natural disasters and such who deletes a lot of knowledge and advanced things). peace out.

  • kaylor87

    As time goes on, and things like the right to repair become law, why wouldn't manufacturers just purposely design their products to be modular, and easily upgradable, so that they can continue to sell upgrades to their customers rather than trash the entire thing.

  • Brad Buckner
    Brad Buckner

    Very good! Keep it going.

  • Gaurav Patel
    Gaurav Patel

    This is an amazing channel!!!!

  • George Henry Moore
    George Henry Moore

    QI XL 011 - Objects and Ornaments, is that where you got it from?

  • trent wolfgram
    trent wolfgram

    The conspiracy is just capitalism dude. Like, c'mon. It's the same story with fruit companies. And mining companies. And oil companies. Etc..

  • NoLeads Ent.
    NoLeads Ent.

    typical tyrant meeting to monopolize and steal the public money.

  • Reapermask

    nice vid

  • Nahid Bepari
    Nahid Bepari

    The problem isn't with products that lasts forever, the problem is in how geopolitics effects trade etc... In these day and age without money you can't even get food, and so you have to work for money to get your food, and the story gose a long way, I am kinda starting to think that we are being fed unhealthy food so doctors will have their business going 🙄.

  • Fernando Luiz
    Fernando Luiz

    spectacular !!!

  • Zach Islam
    Zach Islam

    Once that light bulb goes out, the world is fucked

  • Luc-Angelo Sean Nepomuceno
    Luc-Angelo Sean Nepomuceno

    Another worth watching knowledge..

  • maybekaitlin !
    maybekaitlin !

    “ah yes unemployment is a problem let’s make the government destroy things”...... WHY IS UNEMPLOYMENT A PROBLEM???? if we’re destroying anything it needs to be this horrid system

  • Wes B
    Wes B


  • MarceloACR

    Great video, extremely meaningful and helped me open my eyes and mind to a LOT of things (or at least broaden already opened eyes). BUT, one serious critic - you categorize progress as an essencially mechanical-technological thing. Explicitly, even, when talking about the spans attained by apple and idealized by some car company i don't exactly recall (ford, perhaps?). Progress, advancement, improvement or whatever you may call them, albeit there are differences in specific meanings in words, they are infinitely variable in expression. If this one new cellphone has a back that creates beauty in an actually more elegant, different, new, innovative or whatever combination of words such as these, they, by definition, ARE an improvement, they do attract more, because they essentially end up being more. And sure there are recyclings of style and whatnot amongst eras. It's a fallacy, however, to think such a thing as lazy or effortless. They end up happening more based on an eruption from the current age (whatever it must be) that is somewhat extremely similar to whichever other culture and age. It's like the phenomena where pyramids in several different parts of the world became built by unconnected civilizations. Some things flow to a common point based on biological behaviour connected to the (limiting and conditioning) external world, and thus things arise, but ever in a changing fashion of progress, and sometimes, regress (wars, natural disasters and such who deletes a lot of knowledge and advanced things). peace out.

  • pascoe

    so, capitalism made our lights shitty *marxism intesifies*

  • Alistair Lumb
    Alistair Lumb

    Very good most enjoyable

  • shperax

    How do you make people pay fines made from no real laws

  • Zac Shook
    Zac Shook


  • Brunno Cavalcanti
    Brunno Cavalcanti

    This channel is godlike.

  • Clarence Ewing
    Clarence Ewing

    The Free Market at work.

  • Carlos Martínez
    Carlos Martínez

    No hay ni un comentario es español alv😭😭😭

  • Kala Goyal
    Kala Goyal

    "Capitalism breeds innovation" The innovation: planned obsolescence

  • Keaqa n
    Keaqa n

    It’s sad that today, we feel an urge to buy what we don’t need out of fear we’ll be punished if we don’t.

  • Keaqa n
    Keaqa n

    This video was amazing. Keep up the good work, you’re awesome

  • Brandon Zachman
    Brandon Zachman

    My LEDs die all the time. Obsolescence is still going strong.

  • Christian Clements
    Christian Clements

    Exactly protecting the battery, this is important. I Remember having an early generation iPhone instead of slowing down the screen would just go black because the battery could not keep up

  • Christian Clements
    Christian Clements

    Your argument has a massive hole concerning available and feasible battery technology of the time was not up to par with standards you can imagine today. Concerning the old iPod

  • Shadow51

    That's why I hate Apple. The "i" in iPhone stands for inferior. SWITCH TO SAMSUNG

  • Morten frost Hansen
    Morten frost Hansen

    The clothing business has taken this tactic to the max... they put of new lines of clothes every 3-4 month

  • Morten frost Hansen
    Morten frost Hansen

    Because of shortage of paint, before Henry Ford bought up cheap surplus paint from the army, you could have a number of colours

  • The Badger Den
    The Badger Den

    This isn't just lightbulbs either, it's most things-particularly motor vehicles. They could easily make an affordable car that can go over a million miles, but then they'd stop selling cars. Laptops, phones, batteries, televisions, routers, literally everything is designed to break so you have to buy more.

8 milj.