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In With the New

Get your customers to get rid of your products--so they can buy more.

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This story appears in the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Time was, watches, mops and sofas enjoyed life spans exceeding that of a new Madonna movie. But then, along came IKEA, Swatch and Swiffer to say hey, it's OK to cast off once-enduring commodities.

We Americans crave items that allow us to do more, go faster or look stylish. In a land of plenty, where the garbage collector shields us from viewing our largesse, companies are quickly hopping on the planned-obsolescence bus. Mitchell Goozé, author of The Secret to Selling More: It's Not Where You've Been Looking, If It Were, You'd Have Found It Already (IMI), says the trend is driven by our short attention spans. "A 'long time' in the U.S. is two years," explains Goozé.

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