Bedspreads and Licensed Software

Yesterday, I invited my 82-year-old grandmother to join me as I run my Saturday errands. The only thing on her ‘to do’ list was to buy a bedspread. As a result of comforters being in much higher demand these days, that turned out to be a rather tall order.

I asked her why she wanted a bedspread instead of a comforter and her reply was “bedspreads are easier to wash.” So, I explained to her that with comforters, you can easily wash the duvet cover and even change it out when your decor changes. She was anything but open to the idea of ditching her bedspread lifestyle for a comforter. So…we continued the futile search for a bedspread.

The bedspread vs comforter debate felt much like a licensed software vs open source debate. I’m thinking the root of the reluctance to change for her (and perhaps companies of licensed software) is an unwillingness to understand and pursue the bigger benefits of a change because they are too focused on the benefits they have experienced in the past.

The trouble with not acclimating in the product space (whether it’s bedding, software, etc.), is the frighteningly dwindling demand for an obsolete product. Still, at the end of our bedspread-less errand run, she tells me “If someone were to open up a bedspread company now, they’d make a million dollars!”

And I silently and respectfully think, “A) I’m sure that’s quite true, but I’d rather invest in a company that makes infinitely more money by acclimating their business plan and B) I’m glad my home is comforter compliant.”

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