Yes, it does happen. According to my wife, often. In a recent blog, Great products, I opined on a number of products that I own which I consider great. I still stand by that. But buried towards the bottom, I listed a few almost great but not quite products, one of which being the Xbox.
I think I made a mistake on the Xbox. It might well be a great product.
Not because it has terrific graphics or great games, but because it has endurance. You see, I’ve been looking to buy an original Xbox for our new office. Not to play, we have a foosball table for that, but for the display case. Back in the day, my team at Flextronics helped industrialize the Xbox under contract for the boys in Redmond. Mostly grunt stuff–thermal engineering and a ton of production test development. As such its part of our collective DNA here at Zebulon Solutions, and I wanted a unit to put in the display case–helps tell the story of who we are and what we can accomplish. Naively, I though I could find one a buck or two at garage sales or thrift shops. But amazingly enough, a 12-year-old Xbox, working condition or no, runs for ~$40. And this is in the technology space where product lifetimes are typically measured in months.
Even better, the dust covered unit we eventually bought at a thrift shop, untested, still works just fine. As to my game playing skills, well they’re definitely not great. Crashed my VW Slug Bug repeatedly. The vintage Xbox, however, did not crash.