Perhaps you haven’t heard, but the worlds most glam computer company has purchased a very new company called “Beats.” What do these two food groups have in common that may signal the coming apocalypse?
Here’s a quick synopsis for those of us who care nothing for business or economy. Apple is a 30 year old computer company whose products are now wildly successful. As a result, they have about 150 billion dollars in cash to spend, and their stock is valued very highly. This means that there is almost nothing they can’t buy.
Beats is a very young company that has created a highly popular high-end product; reinventing the lowly headphone so that it becomes a fashion statement. No longer a dollar ear-bud, the Beats headphones are hundreds of dollars and can include a new model music subscription service to boot. Popular celebrities can be seen wearing them, and therefore, by association, your friends can win your admiration by wearing them as well.
And that’s where the catastrophe comes in. People are valuing things not because they bring value to their lives, but because they bring the appearance of value to their social rank. We’ve taken the old “keeping up with the Jones’s” moniker to new heights. Perhaps we should now call it, “Keeping up with the Kardashians.”
We are in the middle of a huge value bubble, one that may have started back in the late 1800s and continues today. Economic hardships like 1929 and 2008 have only slowed it down, but only for a moment.
So, the next time you take a bite of an apple, or slice a beet, think about what’s really valuable in life. Then go back to listening to your music.
Because the beat goes on.