The premium premium

When I was a kid, a bad bike cost $39 and a great bike, a really great bike, cost $99. Maybe an adult could figure out how to spend $300 on a Campy or something, but a 10:1 premium was considered pretty extreme.

Today, a bad bike costs $69. A really great bike costs $3,000 and a superduper bike costs $8,000 or so. Figure the premium for the best is up from 10:1 to 100:1.

Same thing is true for restaurants (McDonald’s is still cheap, but Alain Ducasse is not.) And for cars, management consulting, coaching, charitable donations and wine.

The gap is getting wider and wider. In a lot of categories online, the bottom has gone to … free. Shopping online, in fact, is largely about the edges, and the people who are premium are at the edge.