On my way to the United States, US Airways unfortunately misplaced my bag. Faced with the prospect of a week without my stuff i made a quick assessment of what I really couldn’t do without. Top of the list 9after a NZ/US power adaptor) was my gym gear. I trundled on down to the Denver NikeTown to fix myself up – and therein lies the genesis of this post.

The sales assistant at the store was really friendly and obviously knew everything there is to know about the Nike product line – i heard all about stone protection, Kevlar fibres, midsole impact cushioners and the like – but was surprised at how little the sales banter actually looked at my body, my use case and my needs.

I ended up buying a lovely pair of shoes (a size too large – he didn’t actually check that part) which I’ll go and replace today. My beef however isn’t with this guy, he was only doing his job. It’s with a society that forgets the actual purpose of a product in favour of some aesthetic or vanity induced criterion.

My last experience with buying shoes was at The Frontrunner in Christchurch. That time I was put on a treadmill, slow-motion videoed and the sales assistant (actually worthy of the title technician) discussed the specific traits i displayed and what shoe features to look for in order to correct those traits.

The sad thing is that Nike has its genesis in high level athletics, but now it’s just another label pimping new products every season – and rapidly inventing new “design features” every season to do so.

Ahhh – it makes me proud to be involved with a company that (shameless plug) doesn’t design for planned obsolescence, has an approach of “ethic construction” and is pleased that its products look, and work, similar from one season to the next.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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