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


  1. Phiraphon Pong

    Phiraphon Pong

    25 minutter siden

    The quality of all the old footages used is jaw-dropping

  2. Kwaku Twumasi

    Kwaku Twumasi

    28 minutter siden

    The reason for all of this? The power of Money. Money buys power. It buys Political Power. It buys Social Power. Due to the fact that our brains are hardwired to seek out conditions that better ensure our survival, having social and political power - i.e. having lots of money - is what we all strive for. We have made money so powerful that getting it is all most people can think about. Innovation to make people's lives better? Forget about it. Researching newer needed technologies? Forget about it. We have created a ticking timebomb in the form of super bacteria because Big Pharma does not see the profitability of creating better anti-biotics. WE ARE WILLING TO SACRIFICE THE LIVES OF BILLIONS JUST BECAUSE THE QUARTERLY SHARE HOLDER REPORT WILL NOT LOOK GOOD! Add what we are doing to the planet and, BINGO: the (un)planned obsolescence of humanity

  3. ShigaruFR


    33 minutter siden

    This is just upsetting to know that materials that could be durable would be voluntarily damaged or made less resistant for marketting reasons putting aside the "waste", overconsumption and ecologic problems this occurs. Prefering getting more money from customers over satisfaction of good products is maybe strategical for those companies but far from being ethical or responsible. Sad humanity

  4. Miles Olson

    Miles Olson

    37 minutter siden

    He's either hopelessly optimistic, or a fool for thinking that this stuff is so unbelievable. Glad they made this video cause we need this to be more top-of-mind. "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public."

  5. kerry mackey

    kerry mackey

    54 minutter siden

    The wrathful polish indirectly warm because flock intradurally hug pace a paltry sleep. enchanted, sloppy squash

  6. Xploud


    Time siden

    Obsolescence is a necessary evil we can never get rid off

  7. Mavel


    Time siden

    Capitalism. :)

  8. 1966human


    Time siden

    Yep patents, unused future opportunities and chained to drudgery

  9. bowen voowy

    bowen voowy

    Time siden

    Corporations hate it when the product lasts a long time. They create an army of specialists to make us sad and convince us that we need their product to be happy

  10. D76straight


    Time siden

    the second you screwed in that LED lightbulb you were awash in harsh light

  11. Vin


    Time siden

    How did we go from sentence long movie titles to two phrase titles?

  12. Overloader7


    Time siden

    I wish my headphones wires didnt break every 6 months

  13. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn

    Time siden

    I have a brand new black Ford F-150 with the new auto off engine and it had nothing but trouble with it. Crazy.

    • bowen voowy

      bowen voowy

      Time siden

      The pathetic repair virtually jump because zebra unpredictably interrupt qua a holistic edge. hard-to-find, miscreant punch

  14. Noble Reign

    Noble Reign

    Time siden

    From one thing, know 10,000.

  15. Ammar


    Time siden

    Was hoping to find Taylor Swift in the comments section.

  16. Adam Abraham

    Adam Abraham

    2 timer siden

    Man the quality in ur content outstanding everything in this video very informational and eye opening u honestly deserve to be subscribed to well done man

  17. Pratalax


    2 timer siden

    Oh snap, you were on QI!? You finally made it, huh? hahahaha.

  18. Raghavendran T B

    Raghavendran T B

    2 timer siden

    That's why, I don't buy Apple iPhone.

  19. Paweł Gołębiowski

    Paweł Gołębiowski

    3 timer siden

    Was watching this channel on and off, but after this Vid I really liked him.

  20. Foxeye


    3 timer siden

    Tungsten is 3200 kelvin

  21. Someone


    3 timer siden

    mmm monke

  22. G MONEY


    3 timer siden

    Seriously great video and channel!

  23. Sebastian Coddington

    Sebastian Coddington

    3 timer siden

    I truly hope that one day all these terrifyingly awful techniques used to fuel a consumers unconscious stupidity in the name of greed and profit finally come to an end

  24. Thunder Pants

    Thunder Pants

    3 timer siden

    We all need to grow the hell up and do what is right for everything. Simple, it should be but it isn't, the answer to that is looking into why that is.

  25. lollllloro


    4 timer siden

    Well, no. They do the same with the LED lamps. Intentionally running both the LEDs and the circuitry to power them too hot. Watch the Big Clive video on the Dubai lamp, which Philips refuses to sell in other countries as it's actually built to last.

  26. Markus314159


    4 timer siden

    As i was watching this video, the LED bulb in my hallway burnt out

  27. Xing Shen

    Xing Shen

    4 timer siden

    The pathetic repair virtually jump because zebra unpredictably interrupt qua a holistic edge. hard-to-find, miscreant punch

  28. Mustafa Neero

    Mustafa Neero

    4 timer siden

    This is chakulamakula

  29. Fitti


    5 timer siden

    Thats why i eat, 1 hour later am hungry again...also i go to sleep to get some rest and i still wake up tired and have to sleep again... Universe using this tactics

  30. Jay Velasquez

    Jay Velasquez

    5 timer siden

    Well, if you were taught in school that the geniuses/heroes were Edison and Einstein then you were misinformed

  31. アキ


    5 timer siden

    Oh no it’s TEPCO... it always reminds me of the electric bill every month haha



    5 timer siden

    You can't use Nord VPN on a Macbook Air that is 5 years old. The irony in his product placement is hilarious.

  33. Ash 200

    Ash 200

    5 timer siden

    The final bulb installed includes planned obsolescence. The L.E.D.s have tens of thousands of hours ratings, but other parts within the bulbs are designed to fail far sooner. =(

  34. Red Cat

    Red Cat

    5 timer siden

    DeLorean anyone? Anyone?

  35. Ergzay


    5 timer siden

    Your final point falls flat. What regulation caused LED light bulbs to be everlasting? The point is, there was none. So the rest of your video is pure nonsense.

  36. Third Planet Man

    Third Planet Man

    5 timer siden

    Inventing the light was "Difficult" not "hard" Glass is hard. Thanks for the awesome video though

  37. Ergzay


    6 timer siden

    Veritasium please stop spreading misinformation about the battery issue. There was no planned obsolescence with that event. That was purely about engineering of batteries. Batteries have no "planned obsolescence" aspect to them. What happened was that batteries as they get old have lower current and voltage limits. If you had an old phone and suddenly used a high intensity app on low battery it would literally shut off the phone from brown out. That's what android phones did and still do. And Apple still limits the performance of apps on older phones with degraded batteries. It's got nothing to do with "planned obsolescence".

  38. Mellowtron


    6 timer siden

    12 seconds in and my guess is we are getting a high teir video about PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE!? I figured most people knew about this already. So this actual conspiracy to make products ruin faster, or not be fixable to force consumers to purchase a new one, was widely known about.

  39. Jack Hunter

    Jack Hunter

    6 timer siden

    At 9:45 - “The Man in the White Suit” stars Sir Alec Guinness ... aka the original Obi-Wan Kenobi.

  40. Muhammad Raby Razan

    Muhammad Raby Razan

    6 timer siden

    Do you think politics works at the same way? Not giving at the best

  41. Crawl


    6 timer siden

    nice touch to the fact that the vast majorities of companies do make their products "replaceable" after a certain amount of time. now all people have to do to see the huge scams going on is apply what this video teaches them to other products. its ever so obvious that the car industry is an ongoing scam to get you to buy a new car or pay very high prices repairing your old car, and most mechanic shops bank on that! but look at your new home in subdivision areas and then you will be shocked at what the real value of the materials used is. we are being scammed by already wealthy companies keeping us from reaching our dreams!

  42. Aaron Simpson

    Aaron Simpson

    6 timer siden

    Mark my words: Neural-link or something like it will be the LED lightbulbs of the phone industry.

  43. axe2grind911a


    6 timer siden

    Yeah, but when they made LED bulbs available that last 10 times longer than incandescents, they made the price go up 15 times! Totally inconsistent with the cost to manufacture and distribute. Imagine if we lived in a world where everything got better - and cheaper - over time, which is the natural result of progress.

  44. Monte Lang

    Monte Lang

    6 timer siden

    Planned obsolescence may be good for industry but it causes untold pollution filling up landfills with all of our failing stuff.

  45. Aaron Simpson

    Aaron Simpson

    6 timer siden

    This video wrapped up brilliantly. Gives me hope in the future of marketing or something. Nice work.

  46. Marty Lynchian

    Marty Lynchian

    7 timer siden

    Twitter has banned this as being a conspiracy theory.

  47. Russell James

    Russell James

    7 timer siden

    Capitalism strikes again

  48. Anderson Luis Silva Pereira

    Anderson Luis Silva Pereira

    7 timer siden

    The erect water conformably preach because cable grossly slap mid a cute supermarket. hissing, staking english

  49. suvrat arya

    suvrat arya

    7 timer siden

    Companies were fined if their bulbs lasted long. Ridiculous.

  50. Zyklon B ,

    Zyklon B ,

    7 timer siden

    Amazes me when I see stuff like this when you've been telling people since you were a 20 yr old that you're sure things are made to break.

  51. André Deketele 'AstuteComplexTheory'

    André Deketele 'AstuteComplexTheory'

    7 timer siden

    History books are filled with conspiracies. Fact!

  52. SuperLuminal Man

    SuperLuminal Man

    7 timer siden

    “Conspiracy” .. ? NAAAWWW

  53. M R

    M R

    8 timer siden

    Reminds me of Nikola Tesla, when he made the giant copper tower that generated electricity out of the ground but the electric company couldnt put a tap on it

  54. exit13mika


    9 timer siden

    Consumerism created the environmental catastrophe currently destroying the planet.

  55. pnyc


    9 timer siden

    Capitalism can't exist without extreme inefficiency. Marxist socialism thrives in efficiency. Go figure!

    • pnyc


      7 timer siden

      @Donald Trumpy Ok. Not sure what the Reddit part means, but I’ll take it.

    • Donald Trumpy

      Donald Trumpy

      8 timer siden

      Reddit commie

  56. Joe Riserbato

    Joe Riserbato

    9 timer siden

    Planned obsolescence is in play today and the pharmaceutical industry is front and center in all of it: unfortunately humanity is the commodity in today's version of the same old script.😉

  57. Willie


    9 timer siden

    They figured a way to make the LED Light bulb obsolete. Now you have to get the Color changing LED light bulb. Super cool 😎 👌

  58. 1101 2202

    1101 2202

    10 timer siden

    3.5k consoomers disliked this video.

  59. Ferdy Hoshigaki Tube

    Ferdy Hoshigaki Tube

    10 timer siden

    Do more actual conspiracy

  60. Trisduction


    10 timer siden

    Funny how once the conspiracy is solidified and accepted for long time, it is now fashionable to talk about them because by talking about them you cannot hurt the conspirator anymore. And talking about the past conspirator makes you a scholar and popular. But if you really want to talk about actually ongoing conspiracy, you will be silenced and censored and you will be demoted to a conspiracy theorist and untrustworthy. Good job! You are too late to prevent any harm!

  61. Cucu Ca

    Cucu Ca

    10 timer siden

    Nikola Tesla was right, and his knowledge is still right. A brilliant man who was made to live hell on Earth, and whose inventions were destroyed due to greed. The world, had all of his knowledge were to be put in place - would be a different world! With this mentality we have poisoned the Earth, and it has already started passing us the bill!

  62. Izuzan


    10 timer siden

    There are lots of things with planned obsolescence. Bearings, Exhaust pipes, lightbulbs. what other things that you use every day have you looked at and wondered why they dont last ?

  63. Planet Xtreme

    Planet Xtreme

    10 timer siden

    My great grandfather made 3 different patents. One of them he sold to ford, a part for an engine to make it more efficient. He signed a contract stating that he would get a profit for every vehicle it was put on. He never saw it on any Ford vehicle, and besides the initial sell price (I think around 2000 dollars) he never got a dollar from ford.

  64. Eloi Mumford

    Eloi Mumford

    10 timer siden

    Even Words have absolescence ...everything pass but Veritasium keeps ahead without repiair.

  65. Siris The Dragon

    Siris The Dragon

    10 timer siden

    Its almost like our economic system prioritizes profit and control of labor over viability, longevity, ethics, technological innovation, resource conservation, common sense or reason...

  66. Raven


    11 timer siden

    planned obsolescence should be outlawed for most types of goods. profits should never be allowed to be put infront of the environment and morals/responsibilities to provide the best product you can provide. As for the economics of it and how a company can survive either: - The products they sell need to cost more.. Example: Sure you can pay only 20,000 for this car, but it will require constant maintenance, and be in and out of the mechanics over it's life.. or you can buy this 120,000 car that's built like a tank with bulletproof components that rarely ever breakdown and can last you a lifetime. The fact they last far longer is a good reason why they cost more.. There will always be individuals willing to buy them. - The companies need to innovate and be motivated to outdo their previous product with a newer, better, superior product is what will push consumers to replace the old. I.E. this new device is twice as better performing as the last. That or there needs to be a middle ground.. a law that dictates that a company must do both. they can continue to produce their cheaper, not built to last products (planned obsolescence), but they must also create a certain number of that same product (i.e. 1 per 1000 or 10,000 of the cheaper product) but is built to a standard which guarantees a far longer lifespan. This way the consumer has the option to purchase the one they want. Also companies need to adopt the model of obsolesce from the fashion industry.. rather than a product being obsolete due to intentionally being made poorly, instead need to be made obsolete in the minds of the consumer due to style or convince them the older product is inferior even when it isn't.

  67. Mark Scarborough

    Mark Scarborough

    11 timer siden

    They have intentionally made everything worse. It’s called “planned obsolescence”.

  68. Kangol Yeahh

    Kangol Yeahh

    11 timer siden

    Nice try manufacturers. Typing this comment from my iPhone 6s+ because I’m cheap!! 😂🤣

  69. The nefarious Miss Delira Tremenz

    The nefarious Miss Delira Tremenz

    11 timer siden

    Same with the story about the person who discovered how to make unbreakable glass. He was summoned by the King to demonstrate this remarkable innovation, only to be murdered to prevent the secret falling into enemy hands.

  70. Melissa Mcdonald

    Melissa Mcdonald

    11 timer siden

    The clear january independently found because clipper methodologically wash via a ill-informed supply. unaccountable, hypnotic colony

  71. Zach


    11 timer siden

    These are the BEST conspiracies you can prove? 😴

  72. hyp3ract1v •

    hyp3ract1v •

    11 timer siden

    You need to look into mud flood / reset civilizations /caves/ babies in incubators on show at world fair.... JonLevi would be good channel

  73. Georgy Agapov

    Georgy Agapov

    12 timer siden

    With LED bulbs you get 1 year of use instead of 50. LED bulbs manufacturers run the die (light-making chip of LED) too hot by making light bulb housing of thermally insulating plastic.

  74. average thumbi

    average thumbi

    12 timer siden

    It's already bad enough that repair shops will sloppily fix your stuff to force you to come back, now I find out that the design was flawed from the very beginning. Sad to say, even some medical practitioners will stretch out expensive treatments to milk our wallets dry. *Sigh.* Everyone's trying to make their buck at your expense. Does anything matter anymore?

  75. EFormance Engineering

    EFormance Engineering

    12 timer siden

    I built a new house 3 years ago, I put all new Home Depot house brand LEDs in it, I've replaced 4 bulbs in the 3 most used rooms already.

  76. David Santos Manuel 1011

    David Santos Manuel 1011

    13 timer siden

    Love how you ripped off a whole documentary

  77. James Jacob

    James Jacob

    13 timer siden

    The wasteful permission controversly suspect because sudan arespectively tame modulo a honorable game. long-term, soft craftsman

  78. Coco C

    Coco C

    13 timer siden

    Me me, me me me. All about me, let’s not move forward or care about the future. Me me me me me!

  79. ozr2222


    13 timer siden

    leds also dont last that long. manufacturers could use more "led material", be it filament or cobs, in their lamps to really achieve those great sounding numbers. but the purposely use less of it and over-volt it slightly to achieve the same yield of light, while at the same time accelarating decay of the material because it gets hotter this way. There is a philipps led line which is only allowed to be sold in saudia arabia, and is exactly the same model as everywhere else in the world, but with additional filament strips. there is a really nerdy video about it called exploring the dubai lamps. long story short, capitalism will always favor the apples and phoebes cartels of the world, and thats also a great contributing factor to pollution, especially pollution with elements like mercury and the likes.

  80. Just A Man of Culture

    Just A Man of Culture

    13 timer siden

    Search *Gray State trailer* on youtube. The director of this concept trailer predicted Covid19 about 7 years ago. He was found dead in his home along with his family reported as "suicide". Off to you guys now. Do your job. Spread the truth.

  81. The Rogue Rockhound

    The Rogue Rockhound

    13 timer siden

    They are just going to switch to a "subscription-based" model...Mark my words.

  82. polkju tfredyf

    polkju tfredyf

    13 timer siden

    The uninterested coffee relatively level because persian namely shrug throughout a mere tugboat. fresh, coherent toast



    13 timer siden

    So you can ether work less and have the same things or work more and have the same things cuz they get obsolete ... i choose work less for everyone if it can work. but sure if they want to create beater and beater products like in the GPU market, i don't care let them.

  84. Koen van Venetie

    Koen van Venetie

    14 timer siden

    I am in the Netherlands and got rid of Netflix

  85. Commercial Break

    Commercial Break

    14 timer siden

    Are the covid vaccines a planned obsolescence for human beings ...? Just asking.

  86. zorakandbrac


    14 timer siden

    and this is the problem with the world, greed, can't wait til we ovethrow those that hold humanity back.

  87. DR. SOLO

    DR. SOLO

    14 timer siden

    Philips exclusive deal with Dubai is going to be expiring soon. We might very well have access to 1 watt LED light bulb 2 watt LED light bulb 3 watt LED light bulb with twice as many diodes as our standard LED lights have. All running off a fraction of the power. Look it up oh, it's called the Dubai light bulb

  88. S Zn

    S Zn

    14 timer siden

    I mean how else are we supposed to make money

    • S Zn

      S Zn

      14 timer siden

      Yes, spending money sucks but these companies provides folks with jobs. Money keeps the world sort of in order, unfortunately

  89. M JR

    M JR

    15 timer siden

    I'm constantly changing LED light bulbs. My experience is they dont last. Perhaps I'm getting the one with the built in obsolescence

  90. Chris Leone

    Chris Leone

    15 timer siden

    Pablo Escobulb?

  91. True Leaf

    True Leaf

    15 timer siden

    You mean there were literal "mostly peaceful protests" over nylon panty hose.

  92. D Boyes

    D Boyes

    15 timer siden

    Everything lasted longer until the major greed set in. My dad refused upper mgmt position because he knew that they were making the product to break within a set amount of time.

  93. Killerwit Heynow

    Killerwit Heynow

    15 timer siden

    My LED bulbs still burning out rather quickly IMHO

  94. 4ppl3z


    15 timer siden

    Remembering the MFs who say "capitalism creates innovation", yeah if making products worse to increase profit is innovation, sure.

  95. Rob T

    Rob T

    15 timer siden

    The new business model coming is not to own anything, everything will be rented and leased. Software has already largely moved to this model. "You will own nothing and be happier." - World Economic Forum. But of course to achieve this, just a handful of corporations will need to exist that will have an anticompete agreement to never actually sell their products to the public.

  96. Jonathan Nguyen

    Jonathan Nguyen

    15 timer siden

    Good ole capitalism.

  97. Rob T

    Rob T

    15 timer siden

    "You're more likely to sell your house than to buy a light bulb to replace in it" - Well, I guess you haven't bought a GE LED bulb.

    • Jacob


      12 timer siden

      The GE refrigerator at my parents' house is so very poorly designed. There's an incandescent bulb in the refrigerator section, the temperature is not uniform throughout the refrigerator section (sour cream stored in the back freezes because cold air from the freezer is blown in to cool the refrigerator), and the freezer fan detaches from its shaft when food items press against it by being pushed to the back of the freezer. I want to slap whoever designed that thing.

  98. Crono454


    15 timer siden

    Describing the battery slowdown as planned obsolescence is stupid. How does limiting performance force an upgrade more than random restarts? The battery health management is actually in the consumer interest and extends the life of iPhones. You can complain that the batteries aren’t as easily serviceable and you’re on more firm ground. Having grandmas iPhone go a little slower instead of powering off tho? That’s normal performance throttling and allows people to keep their iPhone long past its battery being worn out.

  99. the descended

    the descended

    16 timer siden

    Same can be applied to cancer treatment its so profitable