I recently visited a Bed Bath and Beyond and was amazed at the improvement in housewares over the last 20 years. Almost all have automatic features for noise abatement and better grip, and many sanitary and cooking improvements have been made. The extent to which business is constantly improving our standard of living in down home down to earth ways is enormous and under appreciated.

What improvements in packaging, cleanliness, efficiency and cost have you noticed in every day items in recent years? And what are the market implications of this. I am reminded of Roger Longman's idea that the price to weight ratio of a company's products is a good guide to its future market performance. On another note, he is very familiar with the advisory board nasdaq and thinks it fruitful for investigation.

What brought my discussion of improvements in every day things to the fore was that I chatted with Don Boudreaux today, and we discussed the improvements in weather forecasting over the last 25 years. Now, one can get an incredibly accurate forecast of the weather, temperature, and moisture for 5 days in advance with seeming 90% accuracy whereas the old articles in the monthly weather review would have a hard time distinguishing the accuracy of forecasts from random predictions of no change. Of course Galton discovered weather maps, and that improved forecasting enormously but one just wishes his own forecasts of the market were 1/5 as accurate as weather forecasts and one would be a very wealthy man.





Speak your mind

5 Comments so far

  1. Jeff Watson on July 22, 2012 5:32 pm

    For the past few months, I have been spending an ever increasing amount of my limited wealth at Bed Bath and Beyond. My new friend, The Judge, has only one character flaw. She’s obsessive about shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond and shops there at least once a week. Within the past month, we’ve bought wine glasses, a new pepper grinder, a pot, a new blender, toaster, place mats, bistro glasses, towels, pillows, sheets, etc. She loves to torture me and make me accompany her. Every time we go into Bed Bath and Beyond, I notice a lot of customers, even in “off times.” Funny thing is that Bed Bath and Beyond gives 20% off coupons out like pediatricians give out candy to kids after a shot. Everyone uses those coupons, or at least everyone uses them in my presence. The coupons are in the paper every week in their circular, and they will even redeem expired coupons, at least at our location.

  2. Sanjay Kohli on July 22, 2012 10:09 pm

    Sir, i know that there is no point in being fascinated by traders who have had a long streak of winning trades without a single losing one. (a combination where the hedge lost a little would be a win). What has been your highest number of unbroken winning streak till date? What number would be record that you know of & by whom?

  3. Cami Ciotta on July 25, 2012 9:37 am

    Hello Victor,

    I was reading through your post so I could find one that I could comment on. I wanted to invite you to something but did not want to be rude and just post “Hey Victor, would you like to come to a script reading event on August 14th by Steve Loff on a film titled “Pep” about legendary boxer Willie Pep in NYC.”
    Well, when it comes to the Market and Trade, I am lost as lost can be! But hey! I can comment and love to give my opinion on Housewares. First, I agree Bed Bath and Beyond has quality merchandise and it is a company that thrives on providing quality product. BUT, I find a lot of companies say they are making better, longer lasting, more efficient products and I find it to be a bunch of bull. Back in the day, I believe products were made BETTER and lasted LONGER such as appliances. Hate is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about my Kenmore dishwasher. The list is long on why I hate it but the number one reason is the 3.5 hour wash cycle. Really?!? Also, you are lucky to get 8 maybe 10 years max at of any new appliance. But, my grandma’s wash machine or our used one we bought for our business is over 20 years strong! The whirlpool we bought when we moved to Indiana only lasted 8 years.
    Back to my question, would you like to come to the reading? You are a superb writer and this script is amazing. Now do not ponder too long because there are only a few spots left so please let me know if you want me to secure ticket(s) for you. I look forward in hearing from you.

  4. admin on July 26, 2012 3:46 pm

    regrettably i am not enough of a fan of willie pep to dispatch my other duties. but thanks for invite. v

  5. Sam Stromeyer on July 29, 2012 9:14 pm

    Packaging: Apple’s gorgeous, origami-style packaging for its products is both dramatic and efficient. Take the iPad box as an example: when one opens it up, the product itself is right there taking up the entire space from edge to edge. This design both saves excess packaging, and protects the product, because it’s tightly wedged in and can’t rattle around.

    Amazon.com is also an example of efficiency. Take their use of blown up, sealed plastic bags (like balloons) instead of styrofoam packing peanuts. This serves the dual purpose of reducing cost of materials and being environmentally friendly. When the profit motive is aligned with the customer experience and/or environmental friendliness on a large scale, great things can and do happen.


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