I think it is fair to say that shaving, as an activity, is critical to humans, as a species. And as we have all been conditioned to believe, Gillette is the best a man can get to address this most pressing of problems.
I beg to differ.
Allow me to bring to your attention the series of innovations Gillette has “pioneered” in the past three decades or so (courtesy Wikipedia):
- Double-blade razor: 1971
- Triple-blade razor: 1998
- Battery powered razors: 2004
- Razor with five blades: 2007
- Razor with rear trim blade (for a total of six blades!): 2007
Notice a trend? Going from two to three blades took nearly three decades. Going from three to five blades only took three years. Thats an exponential growth! If the trend continues, I predict that we will see a new razor from Gillette later this year that will have 6 blades or more.
No seriously, think about this for a second: the only real innovation shaving products have seen in the past 50 years is increasing the number of blades. And somehow we should believe that this is the best we can get? And this company is actually making money?
I’ve been using Gillette for more than a decade now and I can tell you that my shaving experience has not gotten one bit better. For a long time, I used the two blade Sensor Excel and I was very happy with it. Until Gillette executed what is known as planned obsolescence. I could not find blades for my razors anywhere. I was hence forced to “upgrade”, and I went with the latest Gillette Fusion. Even with 5+1 blades and the satisfaction of a tiny AAA battery buzzing the razor, shaving has not gotten any better.
I did use a Shick Quattro one time and I actually think their blades are a lot better and long lasting. As soon as I have used up all of my Fusion blades, I am going to give the Quattro another try. This is an industry that could use some serious innovation.