June 16, 2005

Time Value of Money

The latest DWR Newsletter profiles designer Jens Risom, who helped bring the Danish design aesthetic to the uncouth US. DWR's interview with Risom had some interesting economic tidbits:

JR: I wanted to be doing furniture design, but I started doing textile design for Dan Cooper. That was fine, but Hans Knoll offered me a job that paid more than $45 a week, which was my salary at that time, so I went to work with Hans.

RF: I guess your furniture cost less at that time as well.

JR: Well, the chair that you are selling was sold for $21 in 1942.

Ok. $21 in 1942 dollars is $263.51 in 2005 dollars, thanks to the wonderful Inflation Calculator. But the aforementioned chair is priced in DWR's catalog at $632.

Ouch! That's some gross margins. Or is it the "intrinsic value of design" that we keep hearing about? How Apple can charge so much more for those elegant white polycarbonate boxes than some mom and pop storefront slamming Intel chips into a Taiwan OEM barebones case?

Oh yeah. Apple's gone over to Intel too. What is the world coming to?

(parked this post in Design as it stems from a DWR newsletter, but it's really about Economics...)

Posted by jameshom at June 16, 2005 02:39 PM | TrackBack
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