Left Handers Too Costly

The view that supporting "minority" preferences is too expensive. It is not that left-hand tools are more expensive to make per se, but that economics of scale cannot apply to them as much as catering to the majority. If only 15 percent of the population is left handed for instance, then the tooling and setup costs to manufacture 15,000 left-hand versions of something would be the same as manufacturing 100,000 right-handed widgets. The left-hand version would cost more because the fixed costs are spread among fewer output widgets. (Not meant to pick on LeftHanders, but simply illustrate a concept.)

A real-life example is a LAN network that is asked to support a new department that has a few Macintoshes. The LAN admin complained that the setup and management costs of supporting Macs was too expensive because the effort to support 5 Macs is almost the same as supporting 100 Macs. Thus, the network costs per actual Mac was higher than PC's. For example, the Mac group used file names that a bulk network back-up utility could not handle. The admin had to either skip Mac backups (and figure out how to skip them), or hunt for new backup tools that were Mac-friendly. The decision process alone consumed several hours as the admin and managers discussed the problem.

There seems to be a predictable cycle in business (one of many!) wherein a company, seeking growth (often in an upturn) will pursue niche markets (such as "minority preferences"), only to drop these markets like a hot rock when the need to cut costs arises. The latter stage is often known as "focusing on our core business"--ScottJohnson (a righty)

Hmm. But there have been some clever designs for kettles, irons, potato peelers, phones, mice which are ambidextrous, which seems a win for both left and right handers. [Also door handle mechanisms are designed with a minimum of parts that are usable on only one side]. Scissors haven't been done right yet though.

Another hmm. I noticed that Remington, manufacturer of the world famous Model 870 shotgun, offered a lefty version of their baseline 870 for only about $15 more than the normal right handed unit ($270 vs $285). The receiver is forged with the ejection port on the left side and the trigger group is assembled with the safety accessed from the left. Other than that the units are identical. It helps that Remington has manufactured something like 20 million (!) of these shotguns in the last 50 years or so; that helps bring the costs down to the bare minimum. Is there some kind of lesson here?

Left handers shoot people more? Never piss off a southpaw?

Not exactly what I had in mind...
See: LeftHanded

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