The Dark-Side of Demand

The car stolen most in 2005 was BMW's 2001 M Roadster, according to CCC Information Services which tracks automotive claims. One out of every 200 registered Roadsters were pinched. BMW's M division creates high-octane versions of their standard car models for automotive enthusiasts. It seems they've succeeded in creating demand for these superior models.

But BMW's M is not the only latest technological pièce de résistance to receive ill-fated attention.

Here in New York, there have been warnings about wearing Apple's iPod headphones on the subway. Why? Because subway theft has risen and its all being blamed on the iPod. Call it the dark-side of popularity — when you build demand for your product, this demand will not be ignored by those who seek profit by nefarious means.

What can BMW do about the Roadster's theft? What can any company do about such popularity?

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  • Randy King

    High-ticket devices should require fingerprint or retina scan to operate. Easily done with high-power encryption to render the thing useless and unable to be hacked back to life. Pretty soon, anything sporting the Bio-ID logo would be ignored. Of course, this could also contribute to a rise in dismembered owners.

  • Ankush Bhargava

    Good publicity among the 'bad guys' and the 'good guys' cannot be treated the same after looking at these statistics!!
    And then, if your product is not the best, something else will be, and that something else will be attacked more often. So shit, who cares!

  • raaj

    Here is where RFID or similar technology might help. Insert a chip deep enough into the major pieces (engine, transmission etc for cars)...authorize the manufacturer be able to "deactivate" functions of such parts and make the device unoperative or useless upon tampering.

  • Colin

    Its a bit of a catch 22 isn't it? Beyond installing anti-theft devices (for those products where it is applicable) I really don't see what a company could do. Should Apple (or anyone else that has a hot commodity on their hands) try to be less cool, or less desirable? I really cannot see any company investing in this kind of pursuit.