I upgraded some software and paid an extra ten bucks for the installation CD. This makes restoration much easier when it becomes necessary. But for instant gratification, I downloaded the software so that I could begin using it immediately, while waiting for the disk to arrive. (It took 29 days, but that is a different story—or perhaps two.)
When the software arrived, I was dismayed at the packaging: what a waste of resources, what excess. The cost to produce the package surely exceeded the cost to produce the CD. Just send me the CD in a functional case. I don’t need a case within a box within another box within a sleeve (which was placed in another box for shipping).
Although the packaging was impressive and professional in appearance, it was also unnecessary and served no useful function. True, all software that is sold retail is similarly packaged, but this is a throwback to when a manual came with the software, thereby requiring a box. Over time, as the manual slimmed down and then became non-existent, but the box size remained unchanged while the packaging became more substantial.
The software can easily be packaged like movie DVDs or better yet, like music CDs. Doing so would cut production costs, reduce waste, save retail shelf space, and make shipping easier and cheaper.
Of course, it would also give me one less thing to rant about.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is publisher, editor, author, and blogger with 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for tips and insights.